The Wisconsin men's basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year after beating Weber State 81-74 in Spokane, Wash. The Badgers move on to play the winner of the contest between fourth-seeded Dayton and No. 13 seed Tulsa.
The Badgers, who are the fifth seed in the Midwest Region, were led by Kirk Penney's 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists. In addition to Penney, three other UW players scored in double-digits. Mike Wilkinson scored 15, Devin Harris tallied 14 and freshman Alando Tucker added 11. The Badgers are 27-1 under coach Bo Ryan when at least four players score in double-digits.
Weber State, the Big Sky Conference Champions, had won 17 consecutive contests coming into the meeting with Wisconsin. The streak was the second longest in the nation only to Kentucky's 23 straight victories.
Wisconsin scored the first four points of the game, but Weber State kept the game close for most of the first half. Both teams started the game shooting the ball well. In the opening seven minutes, the two teams combined to make 74 percent of their shots on 13 of 17 shooting.
The Badgers went on a 9-0 run to end the first half limiting the Wildcats to two points in the final five minutes of the half. Weber State made just three of their last 22 shots to close out the half as Wisconsin went into the locker room with a 41-26 advantage.
Tucker made a turnaround jumper to score the first points of the second half and give the Badgers a game-high 17-point lead, 45-28. However, Weber State responded with a 9-0 run cutting the deficit to 47-39 with 13:28 remaining. After a Wilkinson dunk and Harris three-pointer, Wisconsin once again extended their advantage to 15 points, 66-51, with just under seven minutes on the clock.
Weber State continued to fight back cutting the lead to single digits, 72-64, with less than two minutes remaining. Jermaine Boyette scored 10 points in the closing two minutes to cut the Badger lead to five, 79-74. However, Wisconsin held off the Wildcats for a 81-74 win and advance to play in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday at 5 p.m. in Spokane, Wash.
The Badgers, who are appearing in a school record fifth-consecutive NCAA tournament, improve to 23-7 on the season.
Badgers Advance to Second Round
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