The gritty point guard maneuvered around three taller defenders for a putback and a three-point play. A backup forward drew a turning-point charging call that riled up the bench. It's the little things that helped carry Wisconsin into the program's third trip to the Sweet 16 in four seasons. Baylor is next on Thursday in a West region game in Anaheim, Calif. The No. 2 seed Badgers don't typically boast the quickest or flashiest players, but they sure get the job done with a philosophy of playing smart, disciplined, and physically and mentally tough basketball. "Especially here, at Wisconsin, they pride themselves on being tougher than the opponent — outworking them, out-toughing them on the court, which is why they've been able to have the success they've had," forward Nigel Hayes said. That blueprint was on display Saturday night before a pro-Wisconsin crowd that rocked the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Down 12 at the half to up-tempo, physical Oregon, the Badgers rallied for an 85-77 victory to clinch a spot in the NCAA regional semifinals. Sure, 7-footer Frank Kaminsky had a team-high 19 points, and Ben Brust hit a highlight 3-pointer with 1:07 left that gave the Badgers (28-7) the lead for good. But point man Traevon Jackson set the tone out of halftime by converting an air ball into a score and drawing a foul near a crowded bucket. Backup Duje Dukan drew the inspirational charge with about 9:30 left with the Badgers clinging to a four-point lead. "How about a teammate saying probably the play of the game was Duje taking that charge?" coach Bo Ryan said in Milwaukee. "Without a doubt if you saw our bench, if you looked at our bench when that happened, you looked at our guys — that was the play of the game."
Badgers will give Baylor tough challange
Dallas Morning News | Mar 25