NCAA Tournament 2017: Villanova deserved an easier second-round matchup than Wisconsin

Villanova, college basketball's defending champion, defied this law all year long.

For just the 13th time since 1985, a No 8 seed beats a No. 1 seed. It's about the heart that you have and the passion that you played the game with. UW scored six points in the paint in its first six possessions but had only eight in the next 22.

Hayes led the way for the Badgers with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Josh Hart scored 19 to lead the Wildcats.

"I think the team's excited, I know our seniors are excited".

But when you're a team that is expected to go far - when the number of a seed in front of you places an expectation on you and the ending happens before it feels like the tournament has really gotten started - the jolt can be incredibly demoralizing. "You have to accept it". The committee mis-seeds three, four, five teams every year.

"All those games we've been the underdog", Hayes said. "You have all types of your ranking systems, statistics, analytics guys".

Wisconsin shot 53 percent, improving to 17-0 this season when making more than 45 percent of its field goals.

They can thank stingy defense and a ridiculous run spanning halftime for this trip to Madison Square Garden.

"These games, some teams are tougher than other teams and they were extremely tough team".

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The rules forbid players from consulting with anyone off the field about whether to seek a review from the umpires. He later looked at the dressing room for a suggestion, which was completely against the spirit of the game.

Nigel Hayes capped off a thrilling Wisconsin comeback as the Badgers ended Villanova's bid to repeat as national champions with his driving layup with 11.4 seconds left. But his shot was blocked, Wisconsin claimed the basketball and added one more free throw to make the final margin 65-62.

"THERE SHOULD be nothing negative about this tournament", 16th year Villanova coach Jay Wright said of his team's three second-round exits in the past four seasons.

"We're close on and off the court and that bond is never going to be broken", Hart said. "They made great adjustments". "But I'm upset that we didn't come out with a win". "I'm proud of the way our guys fought all 40 minutes and did all the little things", Bronson Koenig said. "I did my fake spin back, got to my left hand, and fortunately it went in", Hayes told CBS' Allie LaForce.

Wisconsin gained the edge when Villanova called a timeout with 11 seconds remaining. Hart also uncharacteristically turned the ball over three times.

Brown proceeded to bury his first three-pointer, just 1 minute 8 seconds into the game, and finished 3 of 6.

As he did in Thursday night's first round win over Mount St. Mary's, redshirt freshman guard Donte DiVincenzo entered the game and injected life into the Wildcats offense. After a 32-4 season that saw Villanova win a dual-Big East titles, the Wildcats with Hart and Jenkins have now won four Big East regular season titles, two Big East tournament titles, a national title and 129 games.

- Villanova lost in the second round as a No. 2 seed in its last NCAA Tournament appearance in Buffalo in 2014.

For as well-honed and unflinching an apparatus as Villanova was during its post-championship season, it was jarring to see it look so out of sorts for much of its brief tournament stay this March, often rushing for sub-optimal shots and botching even some quality looks.

Toting two NCAA placards he'd snatched from the walls in and around the KeyBank Center, Nigel Hayes walked into the Wisconsin locker room Saturday, the floor sticky wet from the remnants of a Sweet 16 celebration, and spied a teammate attempting to peel down a big NCAA banner.


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