After a nearly upset-less March Madness so far, we were finally treated to a big thriller between No. 1 seed and defending champions Villanova and No. 8 seed Wisconsin. Jaws dropped at the half as Wisconsin—who bowed out to Notre Dame after an ugly Sweet 16 ending to last year—were up 31-27. Jaws were pretty much unhinged, though, as they continued to push their advantage and eventually take the game 65-62.
With 45 seconds to go, Villanova managed to strip the ball while down 61-62 during a Wisconsin possession that seemed like it would seal the game. But Villanova garnered a foul at half court for a couple of free throws. After making the first, the second rebounded out, and Wisconsin found college sports equity hero Nigel Hayes for a tight drive and beautiful bucket well before their shot clock ticked down. But Wisconsin managed a clean set of defensive plays to both block a shooter, and get a tall trap on Villanova's rebound off of one of Wisconsin's free throws. Villanova tried to launch a deep, desperation three to tie it up, but to no avail. Wisconsin is headed to New York City.
This is how the feelings were felt in the Wisconsin locker room:
SWEET 16!#OnWisconsin || #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/WtLOF9ba3o
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 18, 2017