Badgers Hold On Late To Secure Sweet 16 Berth

Ryan Evans scored 11 points and grabbed a crucial rebound in the closing seconds, helping Wisconsin hold off Vanderbilt 60-57 Saturday night to advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.

John Jenkins took a 3-pointer that would have given the Commodores the lead, but it bounced high off the rim and Evans pulled down the rebound and was fouled with 2.1 seconds left.

Evans made the first free throw to make it a three-point game. After a Vanderbilt timeout, he missed the second and the Commodores called time with 1.3 seconds remaining.

But, all 6 feet 11 inches of Jared Berggren were needed on the final play, as the Badgers’ center got a piece of the inbounds pass. Lance Goulbourne was able to recover his deflected pass and throw up a prayer, but he did not have the luck of the Irish on this St. Patrick’s Day.

Senior Jordan Taylor led the Badgers with 14 points. Berggren added 12 for Wisconsin, while Mike Brusesewitz posted 10 points.

“We just stuck with it,” said Brusesewitz of the fight they got from the Commodores. “Guys sat down on defense and they got a couple offensive rebounds. We came to the huddle and said we have to clean that up. Jordan Taylor comes up with a big three point shot and a couple guys came up with some big defensive stops. Ryan Evans gets a big defensive rebound, Josh Gasser gets an offensive board. There’s all sorts of plays; Berg tipping the ball at the end of the game, so the game’s over and we’re moving on to Boston.”

They will move on to play No. 1 seeded Syracuse in the tournament’s regional semifinal round. The game will be played on Thursday, but the time has not yet been set.

The trip will be the Badgers’ fifth to the Sweet Sixteen under head coach Bo Ryan.