Wisconsin’s dream season ends due to Duke
This season was one of the best seasons in the history of Wisconsin basketball, but it ended in the same heartbreaking way of last year. Defeat.
The Badgers lost to the Blue Devils of Duke 68-63, in a blow that will be well-remembered long into the off-season. Two days after the Badgers ended Kentucky’s season of perfection, they ended their national title run, losing to Duke.
It was the final game at Wisconsin for four players, Frank Kaminsky, Josh Gasser, Duje Dukan and Traevon Jackson, but probably five because junior Sam Dekker is supposed to be a first round draft pick in the NBA. ” It’s tough to say anything right now. These guys are my family, and I don’t mean that literally. I mean it hypothetically, Kaminsky said. ” I’ve never been closer to a group of guys in my entire life, from the coaching staff on down to every single player on this team. it’s just hard to say goodbye.”
The Badgers will finish the season 36-4, and a runner-up in the national championship game. Duke settled with a 35-4 mark, but will get to boast off winning the title.
Mike Krzyzewski and Duke won its fifth national championship, and won the game by attacking the basket and getting to free throw line, two factors in which they blew out a nine-point Badger lead. ” Close game and we didn’t execute down the stretch like we normally do,” point guard Bronson Koenig said. ” They did.”
Kaminsky entered the game averaging 22.2 points per game, while Dekker averaged 20.6. Kaminsky shot 53.6% in the tournament, but only made 7 of 16 field-goal attempts and finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Dekker, who shot 50% in three pointers, went 0 for six on threes. Dekker added 12 points for the Badgers.
Nigel Hayes looked unsettled in the first half, but finished with 13 points, only one rebound and no assists.
Koenig only made 1 of 7 in Wisconsin’s early-season match-up against Duke, scored 10 points, nine in the second half.
Josh Gasser, who got poked in the eye, didn’t score any points, but had six rebounds and three assists.
Dukan scored 5 points, while senior guard Traevon Jackson added 2.
Tyus Jones, who scored 22 points against Wisconsin in their first game, scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half. He put the game away with 1:22 left, giving Duke a 66-58 lead. ” Tyus was Tyus,” Dekker said of Jones.” He hit some big shots.”
Guard Grayson Allen, who only averaged 4.0 points per game scored an unexpected 16 points. Allen, a freshman converted on 5 of eight field-goals and made all six of his free throws. ” Grayson made some big plays,” said Dekker. “He caught us off-guard. That’s our fault . . . He sparked them.”
The Badgers did all they could all season long, but came up one game short to the Duke Blue Devils.