Buzzer beater reverses UW's offensive fortunes

Alando Tucker's tip-in snapped Badgers' long field-goal drought

MADISON – Bo Ryan has been coaching basketball for a lot of years.

So when Ryan told sophomore forward Alando Tucker the Badgers' would miss a shot with time running down and he would get the offensive rebound and put it in for the win, skeptics would think it was a crazy prediction. And for a player like Tucker who took a 3-pointer with the score tied at 60 in the final seconds of the game, there had to be a slight bruising of the ego that Ryan would believe he would miss.

But Bo does know basketball.

"He's been doing this for a long time," Tucker said. "He called it. At first I wondered if he drew it up like that, wondered if he knew it was going to happen like that."

With 10 seconds to go in the game, Wisconsin took a timeout, during which Ryan relayed the prophetic advice, the only advice, Ryan argued, that his team listened to throughout the game.

"[I said] ‘Alando, you're going to get the offensive rebound on the miss that's going to win the game.' Ask every one of those guys," Ryan said. "I told those guys in the locker room afterwards at least one guy listened to me one time."

Tucker missed the 3, but senior forward Mike Wilkinson grabbed the loose rebound and tried to put it up in front of the basket. With the shot falling short, Tucker saw his chance and managed to tip the ball in as the buzzer rang the end of regulation.

"I shot it and Mike got us in great position," Tucker said. "Mike grabbed the rebound and he made a great play by getting it in the air. It was a spot I was coming right to."

As his teammates mobbed him in front of the Badger bench, the officials gathered to check the replay, but there was no doubt in Tucker's mind that the ball left his hands before the horn.

"I felt it when it left my hand," Tucker said. "I felt it go in and I heard the buzzer, so I was listening for everything. But it happened so quick."

Wisconsin knows it dodged a bullet in the 62-60 victory over Indiana. After building a 10-point lead with 9:35 left, Wisconsin's shooting went cold as everyone, including the Badgers' clutch performers Tucker and Wilkinson, failed to make a field goal until Tucker's final shot. The only thing that kept the Badgers in the game was free throws, and even that began to fall through with the Badgers going 7 of 15 in the scoring drought.

Credit has to be given to the Hoosier defense that stopped the Badgers cold and gave IU the lead with a minute to go in front of an extremely hostile Kohl Center crowd. After Wilkinson scored 19 points in the first half, he had only two field goals in the second half, both in the first three minutes. Fatigue seemed to take its toll on Wilkinson and the rest of the Badgers as Wisconsin shot less than 30 percent from the floor after halftime.

"To come on the road and hold a team for nine minutes, you should win the game," Indiana coach Mike Davis said.

Freshman guard A.J. Ratliff added, "I think it started with our defense. I don't think we let them score in the last 10 minutes until they got that bucket. It started with our defense."

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