Wisconsin in transition as successful seniors depart


Zak Showalter hit a three point basket late in regulation for Wisconsin to send the game to overtime, but Florida's Chris Chiozza hit a three of his own as time expired in the overtime to give the Gators the 84-83 victory.

Nigel Hayes had given the Badgers (27-10) a 2-point lead with 4 seconds left on two free throws. But Chiozza took the inbounds pass, raced the length of the court like Tyus Edney and put up a floater from just outside the arc - one that dropped through as the buzzer sounded for a dramatic victor. "He's going to be good - really good".

The other subplot here: With the win, Florida becomes the third member of the SEC in the Elite 8, and with a regional final against SC on Sunday afternoon, it guarantees that there will be at least one SEC team in the Final Four. Florida is in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2014. The son of Rick Barry, he drained a pair of underhand free throws, then chased down Badgers sophomore Khalil Iverson and blocked a layup, giving the Gators a chance to tie the game - which Chiozza did on a drive with 24 seconds left. Expect Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig to remain hot and the Badgers to play good enough defense to win this Friday night Garden party. The senior used a spin move to draw a foul going to the hoop.

The Badgers have been both favored and overlooked during their recent NCAA Tournament runs and are coming off a thrilling victory over defending national champion and No. 1 overall seed Villanova to get to MSG.

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It took every ounce of what the Gators had to beat a team that beat the defending national champions last Sunday, and it will be fair to wonder whether the Gators expended every bit of that energy to end up going no further than this, especially with suddenly otherworldly SC set to meet them on Sunday in the Elite Eight.

NEW YORK - The Gamecocks are headed to the Elite Eight for the first time after defeating the Bears in the semifinals of the East Regional at Madison Square Garden.

Florida's victory capped a banner night for the SEC, which also got wins from SC and Kentucky on Saturday to put three teams in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1986.

Ethan Happ had 21 on 9-of-14 shooting from the field.

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Seventh-seeded SC (25-10) face Florida in Sunday's regional final. The Florida defense held Virginia to a season-low 17 points in the first half and kept them under 30 percent shooting from the field.

He points at Fox, the freshman guard who outplayed UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball with one of the best scoring nights in Kentucky's vaunted NCAA Tournament history. Wisconsin starts four seniors who have played in two Final Fours.

It was the first overtime game in the 2017 edition of March Madness. Happ battled foul trouble against Villanova, and the Badgers' offense is much more unsafe with Hayes and Happ on the floor together.

SC advanced by beating 3rd-seeded Baylor 70-50.

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While Butler managed to whittle the deficit to single digits on a couple of occasions before halftime, North Carolina would simply answer with another rally, helping the Tar Heels carry a 52-36 lead into the break.