Recap: Wisconsin vs. Vanderbilt
Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Undeterred by four consecutive misfires from beyond the arc, senior Jordan Taylor rose up and nailed a game-deciding three-pointer from well beyond the line in the closing moments, lifting Wisconsin to a 60-57 win over Vanderbilt in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Commodores had one final chance to tie it with 1.3 seconds remaining, but Jared Berggren deflected Lance Gouldbourne's inbounds pass.
"We knew they weren't going to throw anything short. Obviously, it had to be a long pass. Coach told me just keep my hands up, use my length, and just try to get a finger tip on it. I ended up pretty much getting my whole hand on it, getting the deflection and it was good," Berggren said of the final inbounds pass.
Jordan Taylor led the Badgers with 14 points, but was just 5-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-10 from three-point range for fourth-seeded Wisconsin (26-9), which advanced to consecutive Sweet 16's for the first time in school history. It's the Badgers' fifth trip to the round of 16 during head coach Bo Ryan's tenure.
Ryan Evans and Ben Brust both netted 11 points for the Badgers, who will face top-seeded Syracuse in the East Region semifinals next Thursday in Boston.
Festus Ezeli had 14 points and 11 rebounds for fifth-seeded Vanderbilt (25-11), which defeated Harvard in the second round on Thursday.
After Ezeli punctuated an 11-3 run with a layup for just Vanderbilt's second lead of the contest, 57-56, Taylor's trey gave Wisconsin the lead for good.
Jordan Taylor received a Brust pass from the left wing, took one dribble to his left, and fired from the top of the arc over the outstretched arms of Kedren Johnson, giving Wisconsin a 59-57 lead with 1:45 to play.
"Coach said to me in the huddle you've got to step up as a senior and take that shot. I know I missed a few, but got one to go down," Jordan Taylor said of his shot.
Ezeli missed the front end of a one-and-one at the other end, and Wisconsin drained the next 1:05 off the clock as Berggren and Josh Gasser each pulled down key offensive rebounds.
Gasser, though, missed the front end of a one-and-one to keep the Commodores' hopes alive with 16 seconds left.
But John Jenkins, who was a measly 2-of-9 from three-point range, was off the mark on his right-wing triple.
"It was a pretty good look. I felt like I got a good chance of having it going in, just like a lot of looks I had today. It just didn't drop for me," Jenkins said.
Evans snatched the defensive rebound and made 1-of-2 from the line with three seconds left.
Evans netted eight early points as the Badgers jumped out to a 10-2 lead four minutes in.
Vanderbilt closed the opening half on a 7-2 flurry, and Brad Tinsley's trey right before the buzzer pulled the Commodores within 32-31 heading into the locker room.
Jeffery Taylor's jumper to open the second frame gave Vanderbilt its first lead of the contest.
But Berggren and Jordan Taylor knocked down back-to-back treys to ignite an 8-0 push for the Badgers as they took a 40-33 advantage.Game Notes
Wisconsin made its 10th appearance in the Round of 32 since 2002, the most of any team in the nation over than stretch...The Badgers moved to 25-16 all-time in the tourney and 16-10 under Ryan...Wisconsin defeated Kansas State in the third round of last year's tourney...The Badgers registered 19 points off 12 Vanderbilt turnovers...Wisconsin was 10-of-33 from beyond the arc.