Wisconsin's Bronson Koenig finds his stroke, makes unforgettable shot to beat Xavier

ST. LOUIS -- On Saturday, Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was asked about the continuing shooting troubles of two of his best players, Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes. Gard said he wasn’t worried.

“We won't overreact when they struggle a little bit,” Gard said. “But it would be nice to have them put the ball in the basket.”

One of those guys busted out of his slump against Xavier on Sunday, and yeah, it was pretty nice. Koenig hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 14 seconds, including the fallaway game winner in the corner just before the buzzer, as the No. 7 seed Badgers beat the No. 2 seed Musketeers 66-63.

Koenig had gone just 1-for-8 in the opening-round win over Pitt, and he was 3-for-12 from the floor in each of the two previous games. He missed a few open looks early against Xavier, but he continued to aggressively hunt for his shot.

He ended up drilling six of 12 3-pointers, none more impressive than the last one.

Wisconsin called timeout with exactly 2 seconds left after crossing half court. Koenig then curled toward the corner, caught the inbounds pass and launched over the outstretched hand of Xavier's Remy Abell. Koenig drifted all the way out of bounds by the end of his team's bench by the time the ball went through the net. It was a perfect spot for him to get mobbed by teammates as the swish sent them all to the Sweet 16.

His 3-pointer off the bounce with 14 seconds left also was crucial, as it tied the score after the Badgers had trailed by nine points with a little more than six minutes remaining.

Whatever computer virus that infected Hayes’ hard drive remains, as he missed eight of 10 shots and is now just 7-for-42 in three postseason games. But Koenig got back on track, and it couldn’t have come at a better -- or for that matter, later -- moment.