Wisconsin 64, Arizona 63; 3rd Final Four in team history

Mar 29, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers players celebrate against the Arizona Wildcats during the second half in the finals of the west regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Honda Center. Image by Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin 64, Arizona 63; 3rd Final Four in team history

By Jay Sorgi. CREATED Mar 29, 2014 - UPDATED: Mar 29, 2014


11:35 p.m.
Maybe this tweet says it best, from Bo Ryan's daughter.

11:05 p.m.
The final call of Matt Lepay announcing the Final Four.

10:52 p.m.
Marquette and Wisconsin share a classy exchange on Twitter.

10:45 p.m.
The party begins in the locker room.

Also on State Street.

10:28 p.m.
About the Badgers, "That team would beat the Bucks." - Charles Barkley

10:12 p.m.
"It's gonna be tough to be there coaching without him, but I can't imagine him being any happier, or my mom who passed away about a year ago.  I'm happy to have been able to be on the sideline and do this thing called coaching because my parents gave me the opportunity to coach it, my wife my kids...these guys."

"This is for Butch." - Bo Ryan.


10:04 p.m.
What just happened on the inbound?  Some fantastic defense by Arizona as Hollis-Jefferson tipped the ball out.

We think.  But the refs take about enough time to read War and Peace to get it right.  You shouldn't mind as a basketball fan.  Get the call right.  A Final Four is at stake.

Arizona ball!  The spin of the ball changed direction at the last second.  They got it right.

2.3 left....Last shot?   Nope!  UW WINS!

10:01 p.m.
This is it?  45 seconds left...UW up 1....make...that...one with the Jackson miss.

This is it.  Game on the line.

OFFENSIVE FOUL ON NICK JOHNSON WITH 3.2 LEFT!!!!!    Refs decided it...it could have gone either way.

9:59 p.m.
75 seconds left...Jackson?  Nope.  The Tank?  YES!

But an immediate putback answer by Mayes.  Back-and-forth.


9:58 p.m.
Gasser.  Money at the line...um, no.  1 of 2.  UW up three under two minutes.

Pins and needles.

9:54 p.m.
2:25...Kaminsky is doing it the old fashioned way, down low.  UW is riding the Tank.

9:50 p.m.
Brust!  The first three of OT is the biggest of his life, so far.

Arizona answers.  57-all.  "Are you kidding?" - Steve Kerr

2nd Half

9:48 p.m.
Final four seconds....nope.  JUST off the front of the rim, and it's free basketball. Five minutes of overtime.

9:46 p.m.
Hollis-Jefferson ties it with an air-ball-that-turns-into-a-pass.

9:44 p.m.
The last 90 seconds.  Tie game.  Butterflies.

It even makes Bo Ryan do the jump around on Vine.

Jackson with a pressure shot right at the 1:00 mark.

9:40 p.m.
This is back and forth basketball with a Final Four bid at stake.  Wow.

9:36 p.m.
Frank the Long Range Missile Launching Tank.  UW leads again.

9:33 p.m.
Hard work by Kaminsky not yielding results.  He gets his own missed shot, but can't connect.

9:28 p.m.
Lots of complaints about the refs.

Plus other complaint tweets we are choosing not to share to stay family-friendly.

9:25 p.m.
Arizona had the momentum.  Nick Johnson just gave Arizona back the lead.  44-41.

9:24 p.m.
Arizona's defense is as suffocating as a WWE choke hold.

9:17 p.m.
Momentum is fickle.  Hollis-Jefferson just tied it as Arizona's emotion is exploding on this mini-run.

9:16 p.m.
Koenig's second monstrous shot of the half.  41-36.

9:13 p.m.
This guy is dominating the game for UW.  17 points.

9:09 p.m.
First lead of the game, thanks to Koenig's shot.  9-2 Wisconsin run.

9:04 p.m.
Hollis-Jefferson.  Incredible.  Made me think Marv Albert was going to utter "A spectacular move!" a la Jordan in the '91 Finals.

Kaminsky responds with a shot that scored more points.


9:02 p.m.
Kaminsky without the outside range early this second half, but a rare open opportunity.  Inside, a bit better for him.

32-29 Arizona.


8:59 p.m.
Wisconsin's first possession: another Arizona defensive win - something few teams have been able to do, outwork the Badgers.


8:45 p.m.
Steve Stricker, proud cheesehead, chimes in.

1st Half

8:37 p.m.
20 minutes to make up a three-point deficit.  Very do-able.

8:35 p.m.
We got a ballgame in the final minute of the first stanza.  UW down 3.

8:31 p.m.
Wisconsin not necessarily "in trouble," but with lots of reason for concern down eight with 2:30 left first half.

Badgers first free throws came after this tweet.

8:29 p.m.
As said by 620WTMJ's Doug Russell:

8:25 p.m.
NBC Sports' Alex Flanagan reminds us that it's a second game against a "Bear Down" team.

Teams from Wisconsin usually do pretty well against teams with "Bear Down" themes. See Packers vs. Bears.

8:24 p.m.
Jackson's outside shooting in the face of an in-your-face Arizona defender.  Not bad.  22-18 Arizona.

8:20 p.m.
Brust has had almost no opportunities to even get lukewarm, let hot from outside.

On the other hand, Hayes is getting low post opportunities and is taking advantage.  22-16 Arizona.

8:15 p.m.
Bo Ryan just got tee'd up.

8:12 p.m.
11 minutes in, and it's the Arizona defense that has been doing the shutting down of the Badgers in a low-scoring game, not the usual UW performance...

...that was before Nigel Hayes showed some smooth on a fantastic reverse layup.

8:09 p.m.
Down 16-10, offensive boards really helping the Badgers possess the ball, but Arizona is hounding UW for more than a minute before Jackson's tough driving layup.

8:08 p.m.
The Wildcats weren't supposed to have a great bench.  They apparently do against UW.

8:03 p.m.
If you push Kaminsky out to the three-point line, he can drive it or bomb the three, like the last two possessions.

8:02 p.m.
Arizona also like glue on the Badgers outside the three-point line, plus pushing Kaminsky off the block and forcing him to drive.

8:00 p.m.
Arizona long range bombing.  This could be dangerous for UW.  10-5 Zona.

7:58 p.m.
First time out:

7:55 p.m.
"So much movement.  Great screening."  - Steve Kerr.  Proven by the wide-open Brust layup.

7:53 p.m.
It took more than two minutes, but Arizona's speed in the fast break game finally victimized the Badgers.

Arizona is also giving UW nothing on the perimeter, and hounding Kaminsky on the block.

7:52 p.m.
First two possessions of the game for Kaminsky: One foul, one miss.

Lotta ball game left.

7:50 p.m.
Before the game, Badgers fans were worried about a very active group of referees.

First 30 seconds, Kaminsky with a defensive foul.


7:48 p.m.
Very red, white and blue crowd in Anaheim.

7:47 p.m.
It's the birthday of Bo Ryan's late father, who passed recently.

7:43 p.m.
The tweet says it.

Well, maybe Hank's tweet, too.

7:33 p.m.
Charles Barkley may have just made up for that bar fight in Milwaukee.  He picks the Badgers.

7:30 p.m.
It appears a very pro-Arizona crowd has shown up in Anaheim for tonight's west regional final.

Badgers have been there, done that.

7:29 p.m.
A sobering reminder of the finality of the NCAA tournament.  You lose, you're done.

7:24 p.m.
As Florida claimed the first Final Four spot, this guy is seeing Wisconsin's bid for the second bid through Bucky-colored sunglasses.

6:49 p.m.
One hour before tipoff, the Badgers are getting prepared.

The party is also being prepared...or at least the party that hopefully starts in about three hours.

Pregame story

The Wisconsin Badgers' road to being one win from the promised land of college basketball was a bit twisty and turny, but they're here.

The team that stands in the way: the West's top seed, the Arizona Wildcats.



Wisconsin's eyes will be on Anaheim...all of us at the bar, and a certain famous Wisconsinite who has pledged his tournament love to Bucky.


Stay tuned. A red party could start at about 10:00 p.m. CT tonight.

Jay Sorgi

Jay Sorgi

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Jay Sorgi, a lifelong sports fanatic, is an editor for WIsports.com. He's also a reporter for 620WTMJ and the Packers Radio Network.