Bronson Koenig's buzzer-beater puts Wisconsin into Sweet 16

ST. LOUIS -- Bronson Koenig hit two 3-pointers in the closing seconds, the last of them as the buzzer sounded, and Wisconsin edged Xavier 66-63 on Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The talented sharpshooter who failed to hit from beyond the arc in a first-round win over Pittsburgh connected from well beyond the 3-point line to tie it at 63 with 11.7 seconds remaining.

Edmond Sumner brought the ball up court for second-seeded Xavier (28-6), and then drove to the basket, running over the Badgers' Zak Showalter and getting called for an offensive foul with 4.3 seconds to go.

No. 7 seed Wisconsin (22-12) called timeout after crossing half court and coach Greg Gard drew up a play for his best outside shooter. Koenig got the inbound pass in front of his own bench and buried the fallaway shot, sending the jubilant Badgers streaming onto the court and into another Sweet 16.

"I just tried to channel my inner Steph Curry," Koenig said, referring to the reigning NBA MVP.

The Badgers will face sixth-seeded Notre Dame on Friday in Philadelphia.

Koenig finished with six 3-pointers and 20 points. Ethan Happ had 18 points and Vitto Brown finished with 12 for Wisconsin, which improved to 15-5 in the NCAA Tournament over the past six seasons.

Remy Abell and Jalen Reynolds had 13 points apiece for Xavier, which had a 58-49 lead with just over 6 minutes before it slowly evaporated.

The game lived up to its rough-and-tumble billing, the pendulum swinging wildly in the first half.

The Badgers, who struggled to score 16 points by halftime in their 47-43 win over the Panthers, raced out to a 17-8 lead before Xavier could blink. But the 1-3-1 zone of the Musketeers eventually slowed them down, and the Big East runner-ups countered with a 21-8 run of their own.

They led 33-30 at halftime in an arena heavily tilted toward Badger fans.

The lead changed hands six times in the early minutes of the second half before the Musketeers began to assert themselves. Abell knocked down a 3 to give Xavier a 49-47 lead.

Cheered on by super-fan Bill Murray, the actor and comedian whose son Luke is an assistant on Chris Mack's staff, the Musketeers eventually pushed their lead to 58-49 -- their biggest of the game.

The Badgers weren't done, though. They never seem to be this time of year.

Seeking a third straight trip to the Final Four, the Badgers quickly cut into their deficit. Koenig hit a pair of foul shots, and then a strip-steal turned into a layup for Showalter, before Hill hit yet another shot to make it 61-57 at the under-4 minute timeout.

The Badgers didn't stop coming back until the final shot of the game.


Wisconsin: Nigel Hayes had six points on 2-for-10 shooting. He was 3 for 17 against the Panthers. ... Koenig also had seven rebounds. ... The Badgers are headed to their fifth Sweet 16 in six years.

Xavier: Trevon Bluiett was held to seven points on 3-for-11 shooting. ... The Musketeers had been 26-0 this season when leading at halftime. ... Xavier had won the last two meetings between the schools.


The Badgers play the Fighting Irish on Friday in Philadelphia.