Wisconsin Title Game Notebook

Sam Dekker talked about his difficult night, Frank Kaminsky said it will be hard to say goodbye, Traevon Jackson said it was tougher because Wisconsin had the game in its hands, and North Carolina coach Roy Williams made a touching gesture to the memory of Bo Ryan's father. Those are some of the notes in this Wisconsin Title game notebook.

Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker had a great individual run in the NCAA Tournament.

In the five games prior to Monday night’s 68-63 loss to Duke in the national championship game, Dekker had scored 103 points. He had 27 in the regional final against Arizona and 23 in the Sweet Sixteen win over North Carolina.

His title game performance, however, left him wanting for more. He scored 12 points but was 6-of-15 from the field and missed all six of his 3-point attempts. He also didn’t get to the free throw line in 34 minutes.

“That was weird,’’ Dekker said. “I don’t know what it was that I shot tonight, but I was short off the first, a few shorts ones and one long one. I guess I just wasn’t in a rhythm like I had been lately. Give credit to Duke for throwing a bunch of different defenses at me. It was making it tough for me.’’

Dekker said he was trying but he just came up a little bit short.

“I was trying to contribute any way I could, but I’m putting this one on me,’’ Dekker said. “I just didn’t do enough for our team. I’m pretty disappointed in myself.’’

Kaminsky: ‘It’s just going to be hard to say goodbye.’

At the podium in the postgame press conference following the loss to Duke, Frank Kaminsky was asked if he had a chance to say anything to his teammates when the game was over.

“It’s tough to stay anything right now,’’ Kaminsky said. “These guys are my family and I mean that literally. I don’t mean that hypothetically. I’ve never been closer to a group of guys in my entire life, from the coaching staff on down to every single player on this team. It’s just going to be hard to say goodbye.’’

Roy Williams honors Bo’s father

North Carolina coach Roy Williams honored the memory of Butch Ryan, father of Badgers coach Bo Ryan.

Williams gave up his seat at the national championship game Monday night so that it would be left open for the memory of Butch Ryan. Ryan, who died in 2013, had always dreamed of watching his son coach in the national championship game against Duke.

Williams honored his wish. Wisconsin men’s basketball put out the following tweet about 10 minutes before the championship tipped off at Lucas Oil Stadium:

“Sect. 140, Row A, Seat 13 will be left open for tonight's game,’’ the tweet read. “Roy Williams has donated that seat to the memory of the late Butch Ryan.’’

Jackson said Badgers got a taste but couldn’t secure win

Traevon Jackson tried to sum up how the Badgers were feeling in the locker room following the loss to Duke.

“It was down, it was definitely down,’’ Jackson said. “Guys put their hearts and their souls into this team. To come close, to be right there and to have a taste of it, have it in our hands and not be able to have it is tough. It’s definitely a down time right now.’’

Dekker talks about his future

Dekker was asked following the loss to Duke if the result would have any effect on his decision to return to school or go pro.

“You can’t really go by that,’’ Dekker said. “Obviously you wanted to get this one. But that’s a different entity in and of itself. All I’m worry about right now is our team and getting home and thanking our fans and getting over this with my boys.

“Once we get back and get home and things settle down, a decision will be made.’’


The Wisconsin loss was its first since Feb. 24 when the Badgers lost at Maryland, 59-53. Wisconsin had won 21 of 22 since Jan. 11 prior to Monday night. … Wisconsin was held below 70 points for the first time in 11 games, a 68-61 victory over Michigan State on March 1. … Bo Ryan is now 4-1 in NCAA championship games, having won four titles in Division III as head coach at UW-Platteville. … Kaminsky set Wisconsin’s single season scoring record with 732 points, besting Alando Tucker’s mark of 716 set in 2006-07. He finished his career in ninth place on UW’s career scoring list with 1,458 points. He averaged 22 points per game in the NCAA Tournament. … Wisconsin finished the season with a school-record 36 wins, one shy of the Big Ten Conference record of 37 set by Illinois in 2004-05.

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