And just like that, the season’s over.
The Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s run in the NCAA Tournament ended Friday afternoon after a painful 72–54 upset loss to No. 12 seed Oregon (24-12).
The Badgers (23-11) kept pace with the Ducks into halftime with the scored tied at 25, but Oregon pulled away in the second half, outscoring Wisconsin 47–29 on its way to the second round of the tournament.
In fact, the lone highlight for Wisconsin tonight came from Khalil Iverson at the end of the first half when he beat the halftime buzzer with an emphatic slam dunk that gave Badger fans hope that their beloved team would carry its momentum into the second half.
Ethan Happ and Iverson each posted 12 points in the losing effort — their final games in a Wisconsin Badgers uniform. The Badgers were unable to produce any offensive rhythm throughout most of the game, particularly in the second half.
Meanwhile, Oregon’s offense flourished after the break. Payton Pritchard led all scorers with 19 points and Kenny Wooten dominated Badgers with four blocks and a plethora of athletic dunks. Louis King posted 17 points and Paul White had all 14 of his points in the second half.
Wisconsin’s inability to establish any flow offensively — a problem they’ve suffered from over the last two months — ultimately killed their chances of making an NCAA Tournament run.
After a long, difficult season, the Badgers now enter the offseason with a number of questions to address before the fall.
Oregon will face No. 13 seed University of California-Irvine in the Second Round this Sunday from San Jose, California.