The Associated PressBUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — When the season ended suddenly and shockingly, much earlier than Villanova expected, Kris Jenkins bent over in disbelief near mid-court.
There would be no game-winning shot, no confetti-filled celebration, no more games. The defending champions — and No. 1 overall seed — are done.
After two relatively routine days, madness returned to the NCAA Tournament on Saturday as top-seeded Villanova was bounced from the brackets and the East region 65-62 by No. 8 seed Wisconsin, which added another major upset to its resume and stormed into the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
Nigel Hayes scored 19 points, dropping a layup in traffic with 11.4 seconds left, and Bronson Koenig shook off foul trouble and added 17 for the tournament-toughened Badgers (27-9), who will play next week at New York’s Madison Square Garden after knocking off a Villanova team that never found its traction in snowy Buffalo.
“Seeds don’t matter,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said.
“I told these guys I don’t care where we’re seeded. We have to win six games. Let’s start with these two this weekend.”
Senior Josh Hart scored 19 to lead the Wildcats, but the guard was bottled up and stripped by Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ and Vitto Brown on a drive in the final seconds.
Brown then split two free throws with 4 seconds left, but Villanova struggled to corral the rebound and then couldn’t get off a final shot.
Gonzaga survives Northwestern
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Top-seeded Gonzaga fought off a wild Northwestern comeback for a 79-73 victory with help from an untimely technical foul on Wildcats coach Chris Collins.
Northwestern trimmed a 22-point deficit to five and had the ball when Gonzaga’s Zach Collins reached up through the basket to reject Dererk Pardon’s shot with 4:54 left.
There was no call, and Collins, jawing with the officials all day, ran onto the court and was slapped with a technical foul.