Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Wisconsin beats No. 3 Michigan 65-62 in OT

MADISON, Wis. — When Ben Brust tied the game at the end of regulation with a shot just from just inside midcourt, his teammate Mike Bruesewitz looked over at Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan and saw something unusual.

His coach had both his arms in the air.

“You know when he shows some emotion, you’ve done something pretty special,” Bruesewitz said.

Brust hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than 40 seconds left in overtime as Wisconsin beat No. 3 Michigan 65-62 on Saturday.

“It was awesome, something I’ll remember forever, and I’m sure a lot of people will,” Brust said of the game, which ended with students storming the court and Bruesewitz taking the public address announcer’s microphone to thank the crowd as students celebrated around him.

The Wolverines became the third top three team to lose this week as No. 1 Indiana lost to Illinois and No. 2 Florida was beaten by Arkansas. This should be the sixth straight week with a different No. 1 in The Associated Press’ Top 25.

Brust’s shot at the end of regulation was a dramatic turn of events for Wisconsin (17-7, 8-3 Big Ten) and a soul crusher for Michigan (21-3, 8-3).

Just moments earlier, Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a contested 3-pointer to put the Wolverines up 60-57 with less than 3 seconds left in regulation.

Following a timeout, Bruesewitz passed up his first option in the inbounds play and hit Brust in stride. The guard took one dribble across halfcourt and launched the shot, which hit nothing but net.

Ryan said the play was drawn up to see how Michigan defended the first cutter, Brust read the defense and reacted.

“The best thing was Mike’s pass on the dime on the run, didn’t have to reach back for it, able to catch it all in one motion,” Ryan said.

Michigan still had fouls to give before the shot, and coach John Beilein said the order coming out of the timeout was to foul. He also put Caris LeVert on Brust to bolster the defense.

“We were definitely fouling, wanted to keep everyone in front of us and (Brust) turned the corner on (LeVert) just enough that he couldn’t foul him,” Beilein said. “I thought we had them once they couldn’t get their initial guy.

“With Caris’ quickness, we thought he could get there, but he didn’t.”

For all the fireworks in the final 3 seconds, the teams only managed seven points in overtime, including Brust’s winning 3-pointer.

Following Brust’s shot, Hardaway couldn’t connect on his drive to the hoop on the next Michigan possession, and Glenn Robinson III fouled Jared Berggren on the rebound.

The Wolverines went to a full-court press with two more fouls to give. But the Badgers broke the press, and Michigan had to foul twice more to finally put Ryan Evans on the free throw line.

Evans, who shoots less than 43 percent from the line, missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and Burke couldn’t connect in a rushed final possession for the Wolverines.

It was another grinding win for the Badgers keyed by their defense. Michigan came in as one of the top scoring teams in the country at almost 78 points per game. But Wisconsin held Michigan to less than 40 percent shooting from the field, including 5 of 18 from beyond the 3-point line.

Michigan was 1 for 7 from the field in overtime, and the offensive futility was highlighted by one sequence in which Mitch McGary stole the ball outside the 3-point line and drove the other way only to miss the layup with Berggren defending the rim.

Beilein said the Wolverines missed out on 14 points thanks to missed layups.

“I’m not talking about when they’re really contesting,” Beilein said. “I’m talking about we had the ball, the basket and us, and it didn’t go in.”

Brust scored 14 points for the Badgers, while Berggren added 13 and eight rebounds. Sam Dekker scored 12 points, while Evans finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Burke scored 19 points to lead Michigan, but needed 21 shots to do it. Hardaway added 18, and McGary had 12 points and eight rebounds.

It was the second straight game for both teams to go past regulation after the Badgers beat Iowa 74-70 in double overtime on Wednesday and Michigan downed Ohio State 76-74 in overtime on Tuesday.

Several Wisconsin players said consecutive overtime games exemplified their will to win even as critics contend they’re not talented enough, not fast enough and, as Bruesewitz said he’s seen on Twitter, not good-looking enough.

“We have a group of guys in that locker room that believe and is going to fight until the end until you tell us we can’t play any more basketball,” Berggren said. “We just find a way to get it done.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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