EditorsNote: Several changes throughout
No. 19 Wisconsin held off Nebraska for a 66-62 victory in Big Ten tournament quarterfinal action Friday afternoon in Chicago. The Badgers advance to the semifinals to meet Michigan State on Saturday.
The magical run ended for Tim Miles and Nebraska on Friday. Entering the game against fourth-seeded Wisconsin, the Cornhuskers were rolling, having won two games in two days to rekindle some postseason hope around the program.
But a final surge from the Badgers, sparked by a D’Mitrik Trice 3-pointer with 58 seconds left in the game, offset Nebraska’s late run.
The win sends the Badgers (23-9) to the tournament semifinals where they will take on top-seeded Michigan State on Saturday. The Spartans defeated Ohio State, 77-70, in the first quarterfinal of the day.
Trice only scored eight points for Wisconsin, but his two 3-pointers came in about the final five minutes of the game. Those two shots helped the Badgers overcome a poor game from star senior Ethan Happ, who scored only four points and turned the ball over seven times. The four points were the fewest all season for the All-Big Ten first-teamer, who found himself seated on the bench during crunch time.
Khalil Iverson and Nate Reuvers each scored 14 points to pace Wisconsin, while Brad Davison and Aleem Ford added 11 points apiece. Wisconsin entered the game averaging 9.3 turnovers a game but gave it away 17 times on Friday, which led to 12 second-chance points for the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska senior Glynn Watson Jr. did his best to get the Cornhuskers their third win in three days, scoring 23 points. His fourth 3-pointer of the game pulled Nebraska to within 55-53 with 4:14 to play, but Trice than nailed his critical 3-pointer a few minutes later and the Huskers went cold over the final three minutes.
James Palmer Jr. added 15 points for Nebraska (18-16) while Isaiah Roby chipped in 13 points. The Cornhuskers likely needed a run to the conference tournament championship to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Now, the Cornhuskers will wait to see if they land an NIT berth after winning two of three in Chicago.
—Field Level Media