Devin Harris made a free throw with .04 seconds on the clock to give the Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball back to back Big Ten Championships. The Badgers 60-59 victory over Illinois marks the first outright conference title for Wisconsin since 1947. The win also improves coach Bo Ryan to 16-0 in home conference games. Ryan's 36 wins in his first two seasons is the most by any Wisconsin coach in history.
Illinois came back from a seven point deficit in the final two minutes to knot the game at 59 with 11 seconds on the clock. On the final play of the game, with one second remaining Harris drove the lane and was fouled. After missing the first free throw attempt, Harris made the second to seal the win for the Badgers.
Mike Wilkinson's three-pointer gave Wisconsin the first lead of the game 7-4.
Alando Tucker comes flying for a tip dunk at 16:06 to make it 12-8. After a Badger rebound Kirk Penney lay-in put the Badgers up 14-8. 9-0 Illinois run allowed the Fighting Illini to regain the lead 17-14. Check scoreless time for UW 14-11?
Dave Mader hook shot at 8:43 ended a six and a half minute Wisconsin scoring drought and made the score 17-16.
At the 7:46 mark in the first Devin Harris three from the top of the key knotted the game at 19. Two possessions later Harris nailed another three to regain the Wisconsin lead 22-19. The Badger rally continued with an Tucker three to continue the Wisconsin streak. After an Illinois timeout Penney hit a fadeaway jumper to cap off the 11-0 Badger run with the score 27-19. One Senior Night and Penney's final home game he had 14 points and six rebounds. Penney ties Charlie Wills and Travon Davis most career wins with 81.
On the next Badger possession a Penney shot attempt was blocked, but Harris got the loose ball and made his third three of the half to put the Badgers up 32-26 at the break.
In the early going of the second frame Illinois cut the Badger lead to 37-36. On the next Wisconsin possession Mike Wilkinson hit a three to make it 40-36.
With 11:07 remaining Freddie Owens was fouled on a double-pump lay-in and converted the three-point play to extend the Badger advantage to 43-37.
Wisconsin eventually extended the lead to nine points after a pair of Mader free throws made the score 51-42 with 6:23 to go. Two possessions later Owens was fouled driving the hole and sunk a pair from the free throw line making the double-digit lead 53-43.
Wisconsin made 13 of 17 free throws including eight down in the closing six minutes for the victory.
Tonight's game marked the end of the regular season for the Badgers. Wisconsin next plays in the Big Ten Tournament which begins March 13 in Chicago. The Badgers will be the number one seed in the tournament and have a first round bye. Wisconsin does not play until Friday, March 14.
BIG TEN CHAMPS AGAIN!
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