ANAHEIM, Calif., – Frank Kaminsky scored six of his 28 points in overtime and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds leading Wisconsin to a 64-63 victory over Arizona in the West Region final today at the Honda Center.
Kaminsky, a 7-foot forward chosen as the regional’s most outstanding player, made 11 of 20 shots, including three of five 3-point shots, helping the Badgers advance to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament’s Final Four for the first time since 2000.
“Frank Kaminsky is the reason Wisconsin is in the Final Four,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said.
The rest of the team made 13 of 41 shots, 31.7 percent. As a whole, the second-seeded Badgers made 24 of 61 shots, 39.3 percent. The Wildcats made 23 of 58, 39.7 percent.
Wisconsin (30-7) never trailed in the overtime, taking the lead for good on a jump shot by Kaminsky with two minutes, 21 seconds left.
The top-seeded Wildcats (33-5) twice cut the lead to one and had three chances in the final 11 seconds to re-take the lead. Guard T.J. McConnell missed a jump shot with 11 seconds left, but grabbed the rebound, only to have guard Nick Johnson be called for charging before he could take a shot.
“I thought it was a really, really tough call,” Miller said. “I’m going to stop there. I’ve already been fined.”
Arizona got the ball back with 2.3 seconds left as the referees overturned their original call and ruled the ball went out of bounds off a Wisconsin player, but Johnson was unable to get off a shot before time expired.
“I wish I would have taken one less dribble, get the shot off, give us a little chance,” said Johnson, who scored a team-high 16 points.
The Badgers had a chance to win in regulation, but Traevon Jackson missed a jump shot with one second to play.
The Badgers took their first lead with 15:12 to play on freshman guard Bronson Koenig’s basket. Wisconsin remained in the lead until an 8-0 run over a 2:53 span put Arizona ahead, 44-41, with 9:16 remaining.
The Badgers regained the lead, 50-48, on Kaminsky’s 3-point basket with 4:31 left. Arizona tied the score three more times in regulation, the final time on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s dunk on a rebound of a missed shot by
The Wildcats never trailed in the first half, twice leading by eight, and were ahead 28-25 at halftime.
“The first half we needed to do a better job” rebounding, Miller said.
Arizona had 14 rebounds to 22 for the Badgers. “We could have been in the locker room with maybe a six or seven-point lead instead of a three-point lead because they killed us on second shots.”
The Badgers reached the Final For for the third time. The Wildcats were seeking to advance to the Final Four for the fifth time and first since 2001.
“This is like nothing else I’ve ever felt before,” Kaminsky said.
“We’ve all played basketball our whole lives and we’ve all dreamed of going to the Final Four. To actually accomplish this is something I can’t put into words.”