Wisconsin’s Duje Dukan scored a total of 12 points in the Badgers’ four previous NCAA Tournament games. In a matter of minutes, he helped slow a furious Kentucky run and start one for the Badgers.
Dukan scored eight points in a three-minute stretch that allowed Wisconsin to stop a 15-0 Wildcats run that threatened to turn Saturday’s game into a runaway.
Down 51-43 with 14:37 left in the NCAA national semifinal at AT&T Stadium, Dukan’s tip-in gave the Badgers life. He followed with a 3-point jumper to cut the deficit to 51-48.
His 3-pointer with 11:52 remaining capped a 13-4 run that reclaimed the lead for the Badgers, 56-55. He finished 3 for 5 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range and was tied for the team lead with five rebounds. He also had two assists in 15 minutes of action.
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Kentucky regrouped and won 74-73 on Aaron Harrison’s game-winning 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds remaining. Kentucky (29-10) plays Connecticut (31-8) at 8:10 p.m. Monday in the NCAA championship game.
Wisconsin led 69-65 with 5:06 left. The Badgers entered Saturday’s game 83-2 since February 2011 when leading or tied with 5:00 left, including 27-1 this season. Kentucky outscored the Badgers 9-4 in the final five minutes to pull out the win.
Former Wisconsin football stars Russell Wilson and J.J. Watt got a nice ovation from Badgers fans when they were shown on the video board.
Former Wisconsin star and current Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball was denied access into the Badgers’ student section late in the second half because he did not have the required wristband. Security guards would not relent and threatened to call the police before he left.
Cowboy Badger fans
Dallas Cowboys players Tony Romo and Jason Witten and former player Marc Colombo watched the game from the suite owned by Romo and Witten.