Badgers Season Comes to an End

The winningest season in Wisconsin basketball history came to an end at the United Center Sunday afternoon.

The second-seeded Badgers, who finished with a 30-6 record, fell short in their bid to advance in the NCAA Tournament when they dropped a 74-68 decision to seventh-seeded UNLV (30-6) in a second-round game. The Rebels move on to the regional semifinals on Friday in St. Louis where they will face Oregon.

As was the case for much of the season, Wisconsin was led by seniors Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor. Taylor registered a game-high 24 points for the second consecutive game, while Tucker contributed 17 points and seven rebounds. Guards Wendell White and Kevin Kruger keyed the UNLV attack with 22 and 16 points, respectively.

Wisconsin, which shot 41 percent from the field and just 24 percent from three-point range, fell behind early and trailed 33-20 with 4:38 remaining in the first half. UNLV led 39-27 at the intermission after limiting the Badgers to 35 percent field goal shooting.

The Badgers, as they did in the first-round win over Texas AM-Corpus Christi, fought back in the second half. A Tucker three-pointer cut the UNLV lead to 46-44 and, when Jason Bohannon made a layup with 10:44 remaining to play, the game was tied at 46. Wisconsin then moved out to a 53-48 advantage with 8:19 left to play.

The Rebels, however, quickly regained the lead on the strength of three three-point field goals by Kruger over the next three minutes. UNLV led by as many as eight points (69-61) with 1:26 left, but the Badgers continued to battle back and trailed 70-67 when Curtis Terry hit a jumper in the lane to help secure the decision with 33 seconds left to play.

UNLV, which shot 46 percent from the field, including a 50-percent performance (10 for 20) from three-point range, outrebounded the Badgers 33-31.

This was Wisconsin’s 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers are now 17-12 all-time in NCAA Tournament games and 8-6 during the Bo Ryan coaching era.

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