(MILWAUKEE, Wisc.) — The Wisconsin Badgers needed to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit but ultimately advanced to the Sweet 16 with an 85-77 win over Oregon in the NCAA Tournament. It is the first time the Badgers (28-7) reached the regional semifinal since 2012.
Oregon, the seven-seed in the West, controlled tempo in the first half using solid defense and a quick tranistion game. The Ducks (24-10) held a 30-29 lead with 7:13 to play in the first half before going on a 10-2 run. They would extend the advantage to 49-37 at halftime and looked to cruise to an upset.
However, the veteran Badgers clawed back in the second frame. After Mike Moser’s jumper to put Oregon ahead 58-54, Wisconsin scored the next eight points to regain the lead with 13:29 remaining. The two teams then traded blows until the final three minutes.
Joseph Young scored two of his 29 points to give the Ducks a 75-74 advantage with 2:53 to play. After a scoreless 1:46, Ben Brust drained a three that gave Wisconsin the lead for good. The Badgers made eight of ten free throws down the stretch while holding Oregon to just two points in the final minute.
Brust scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Wisconsin will take on the winner of No. 3 Creighton and sixth-seeded Baylor in Anaheim, Calif. beginning on Thursday.
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Jill Martin, CNN