Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Wisconsin stuns No. 3 Michigan in OT, 65-62

Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a big three to put the Wolverines on top, but Ben Brust had the answer.

Wisconsin players and coaches rock out to Kesha in the locker room postgame.


Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan talks with ESPN after the game.

When Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. sunk a three-pointer with Mike Bruesewitz in his face and less than three seconds on the clock, it appeared to be the shot of the game. But the Ben Brust Show had yet to complete its opening act.

With 2.4 seconds on the clock, Bruesewitz lasered a pass to a cutting Brust, who took two steps and a dribble before launching a 45-foot Hail Mary at the basket that somehow found the bottom of the net. Michigan guard Caris LeVert tossed up his hands in disbelief and walked back to his bench.

“It was awesome,” Brust said of the shot. “Something I’ll remember forever and I’m sure a lot of people will.”

UW head coach Bo Ryan credited Traevon Jackson – the other cutter on the play – for clearing out the defenders and said Bruesewitz’s pass was “right on the dime.” Then it was time to refocus, to end the short-lived celebration and prepare for overtime.

“If we lose this game, that shot just goes in SportsCenter Top 10 and then we kind of all forget about it,” senior forward Mike Bruesewitz said. “That was my thought process, we just needed to get back and win it.”

After his teammates cleared the floor and overtime began, Brust pulled up and hit a critical three-pointer with LeVert again facing him up to hand the Badgers (17-7, 8-3 Big Ten) the 65-62 lead. Ryan Evans missed a critical free throw to seal the game but Trey Burke was off the mark on his own three-point try. Pandemonium ensued at the Kohl Center as students stormed the court after unranked Wisconsin had taken down No. 3 Michigan (21-3, 8-3).

“We put Caris in for defense and he’s a very good defender, just happened to make a little bit of mistake,” Michigan head coach John Beilin said of Brust’s three-pointer in overtime. “Maybe the kid … takes a step-back shot, but he was not a guy you want to give that type of room to.”

It was a remarkable turnaround from Hardaway’s own highlight-worthy basket that nearly kept Michigan from dropping its third game of the year.

The comeback may not have ever happened, however, without a ferocious dunk by Wisconsin big-man Jared Berggren. With 31 seconds left and the Badgers down three, Berggren drove through the paint before taking off and sailing over Burke, hitting the and-one free throw to tie the game.

Having just enough lift to make it to the hoop, he tumbled to the hardwood with the crowd roaring. Game on.

“I took a few threes before that, so I knew [forward Mitch McGary] was coming hard on the close-out, probably expecting me to shoot it,” Berggren explained. “I saw an opening, attacked the rim and was just able to finish the play.”

While the late-game heroics consumed the game, an efficient offensive performance combined with making Burke fire up less-than-favorable shots kept the Badgers alive against one of the most talented teams in college basketball. Brust – who managed only three points in the first half – led UW’s effort with 14 points (4-of-7 from three-point range) as the Badgers shot 43.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from long range.

Burke scored 19 points but had only four assists, well below his season average of 7.2 per game. After shooting just 37 percent from the field in the first half, Burke took the Kohl Center floor with renewed fury in the second, scoring 11 points on a combination of pull-up jumpers and deceptive moves through the lane.

“He hurt us a little bit early on coming off those ball screens and we talked about just squeezing toward him, making him throw it to someone else,” Berggren said. “He hit a couple of those little runners or floaters in the lane. We just tried to make the shots as difficult as possible for him.”

Burke did miss his two three-point attempts in overtime and Michigan managed only one basket in the extra five minutes of play.

Playing with surprising flashes of speed at points given UW’s notoriously slow pace of play, Sam Dekker energized the Badgers with nine quick points in the first half. The Badgers picked up a few baskets on fast breaks as the Kohl Center grew louder as the home squad bolted out to a nine-point lead with 7:54 left in the opening period.

But Michigan slowly climbed back as halftime neared. The Wolverines went on a 15-5 scoring in the final 7:54, enough to carry a 29-28 advantage into the locker room.

The two squads traded leads for much of the final 20 minutes before a 10-2 run put Michigan up by six – its biggest lead of the half – with 6:34 left in the game. It was a three-pointer that came from the Energizer Bunny himself, Dekker, that reversed the momentum.

From there emerged one of the most exciting finishes in recent Kohl Center history, a game that will forever be tied to the unbelievable heave from Brust, a game immortalized along with upsets over Duke and then-top-ranked Ohio State in the last several years.

“That one wins by far, by a long shot actually,” Brust said when asked if it was the best shot of his career at any level. “Then to be able to win the game in overtime makes it that much sweeter.”

The victory over a team tied for first in the Big Ten standings placed Wisconsin squarely back into the conference title race. The Badgers now sit a half-game out of first place after their third win in six days and second-straight overtime win.

“We’ve got a bunch of dudes who are gritty, tough and just want to play the game the right way,” said Bruesewitz, who compensated for scoring only five points by grabbing eight rebounds. “When we win it’s a great feeling and I like playing with the dudes in our locker room, that’s for sure.”

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