Big Ten

Wisconsin slays the giant, upsets No. 1 overall seed Villanova to advance to Sweet Sixteen

Wisconsin slays the giant, upsets No. 1 overall seed Villanova to advance to Sweet Sixteen

Wisconsin's unfavorable No. 8 seed set up a massive challenge against No. 1 overall seed Villanova in the second round.

Well, challenge met.

The Badgers advanced to their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen with a gargantuan upset of the defending national champions Saturday afternoon, taking down the Wildcats by a 65-62 score.

Wisconsin seniors Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes, veterans of the program's back-to-back Final Four runs, provided the engine for this upset, combing for 36 points and hitting the game's biggest baskets down the stretch.

Despite a four-point lead at halftime after a hot-shooting first 20 minutes, the Badgers trailed by seven with five and a half minutes to play.  But the Badgers rattled off seven straight from there, Koenig tying the game at 57 with a triple with three and a half minutes remaining.

After a Villanova free throw, Ethan Happ got a running bucket to beat the shot clock and put Wisconsin in front by a point, the Badgers' first lead since four and a half minutes into the second half. The Wildcats tied the game by splitting a pair of free throws at the other end, only for Koenig to nail another huge 3-pointer inside of two minutes to play. Villanova's Jalen Brunson cut the lead to one with a bucket, and after Koenig missed a 3-point try, Villanova turned the ball over with a travel in the final minute.

But things quickly looked like they were going to spiral out of control for Wisconsin when Koenig was trapped at halfcourt and turned the ball over when he tried to find Hayes with a pass, Hayes then fouling and sending Donte DiVincenzo to the free-throw line with just a handful of seconds left. But DiVincenzo split his free throws, only managing to tie the game. Hayes instantly redeemed himself at the other end, getting an up-and-under basket to give the Badgers a two-point lead with 11.4 seconds left.

Josh Hart had the ball stripped away at the other end, Vitto brown hit a free throw, and Wisconsin clinched its massive upset.

This is the second straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen for Greg Gard, in just his second season as the team's head coach. It's the fourth straight for the program and fourth for a senior class that has created a remarkable legacy in Madison.

Big Ten to play conference-only NCAA football schedule 'if able'

Big Ten to play conference-only NCAA football schedule 'if able'

The Big Ten announced on Thursday that they will not play any non-conference games this fall, if they’re able to play at all.

The move comes after the Ivy League cancelled all fall sports earlier in the week.

In the statement the Big Ten said, “By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.

“In addition, the Conference announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities. Furthermore, Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team.”

The Big Ten also said they’re prepared to cancel their fall sports entirely, if needed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes.

This all leads to more questions as to how the Big Ten schedule will ultimately take shape. For instance, the first three games on the University of Illinois’s schedule are all non-conference games. Will more in-conference games be scheduled to replace them, or will the Fighting Illini simply begin their season on Oct. 3 with their first conference game against Rutgers?

All of that remains to be seen, as the conference said more details regarding the conference-only schedule will be released later.


RELATED: Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field

Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field

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USA Today

Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field

Northwestern football will no longer host their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field. The university announced the decision on Wednesday.

The Wildcats were supposed to play the Badgers at the Friendly Confines on Nov. 7. Although the university didn’t officially announce it, team's website says the game will be played at Ryan Field.

“This is a disappointing conclusion to reach, but absolutely the right one in our current environment,” said Jim Phillips, Northwestern’s Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation. “The uncertainty of football and baseball schedules, and the possibility of limited attendance, made this an easy choice to make for our student-athletes and fans.

“We’re grateful for our outstanding partners from the Cubs, and look forward to bringing the passion and pageantry of college football gameday to the city’s north side when we can do so safely and securely with a packed house.”

Northwestern initially brought college football back to Wrigley in 2010. Previously the last college football game at Wrigley was played in 1938. Since then, Northwestern has hosted both lacrosse and baseball games at Clark and Addison.

The university is still on track to kick off their season on Sept. 5 at Michigan State.

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