Second Half Free Fall

After falling behind to begin the second half, Wisconsin clawed its way back into the game and cut the lead to three with 13:46 remaining. What happened next was very uncharacteristic of Wisconsin's 2007-08 season.

DETROIT — The clock read 13:46 remaining in the second half, and University of Wisconsin forward Marcus Landry had just hit a floater in the lane to cut Davidson's lead to 48-45.

Then, the Badgers unraveled – and therefore, so did their season. Over the next three and a half minutes, the veteran Badgers and underdog Wildcats switched roles on the makeshift hardwood placed at the middle of Ford Field.

Davidson's do-it-all guards – sophomore shooter Stephen Curry and senior point Jason Richards – tagged UW for a 12-0 run, with a trio of 3-pointers from Curry and one more from Richards. The run was capped by Curry's stepback three-pointer over a leaping Landry – his sixth of the game – and the Wildcats had themselves a shocking 60-45 lead with just ten minutes to go.

"I don't even know what happened," UW forward Joe Krabbenhoft said, shaking his head. "It all happened so fast … four or five threes in a row is tough any game, especially in the Sweet 16."

After Landry's basket and during Davidson's shooting spree, UW countered with three quick turnovers – two by Krabbenhoft and another by guard Michael Flowers.

One might think an experienced team like Wisconsin could quickly regroup and come back. But Davidson continued to pour it on, while UW never recovered.

The Badgers simply went cold on the offensive end; after the 13:46 mark, UW shot 3-for-18 and scored 11 points.

"We were down, we needed to score, and took some pretty quick shots," Landry said. "They really pressured the ball and kept us from getting the ball in the post … we just didn't execute as well as we have in the past."

Meanwhile, the Wildcats, focusing on playing smart defense and slowing the pace down, gathered enough baskets after their 12-0 run to keep UW at a safe distance.

"Against a team like that who really takes care of the ball, it's pretty hard to come back," Krabbenhoft said.

The 6-foot-3 Curry kept Wisconsin living in its own nightmare when apparently, he'd had enough of the three-point shooting barrage. So, with 9:07 left, following a Flowers free throw to stop a 4:29 scoring drought, Curry made a driving play that ignited the Ford Field crowd.

Curry drove past Flowers, tucked under the basket, got pushed by UW center Greg Stiemsma, and threw up a spinning reverse layup that went off the glass and spun into the basket as Curry whirled around to keep his balance.

"When he's going to hit those shots, you have to accept that," sophomore guard Jason Bohannon said. "Mike (Flowers) played some great defense on him, and the shots still went in, which makes it tough to make a comeback."

The incredible move even wowed NBA superstar LeBron James, who was sitting close to the court behind the Davidson bench and reportedly came to the game just to watch Curry.

"It's pretty cool," Curry said. "That also ties into the fact that he's here to watch us … and it's very cool for him to be here."

After Curry hit the free throw, Davidson had a 63-46 lead, and never let Wisconsin get into an offensive rhythm. The Badgers had more turnovers (seven) than buckets (five) in the second half.

"There really wasn't anything that took us out of the offense," Bohannon said. "It was just us playing from behind, it kind of forced us to not play the same way."

Curry actually outscored the Badgers all by himself after halftime, by a 22-20 count.

"They really just out-worked us, out-scrapped us," Landry said. "We tried to pull it back. We had it back within three, but we kind of got away from doing some things."


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