WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Badgers beat down Baylor, face Arizona next in the Elite 8
ANAHEIM, CA -- In the West Region, Wisconsin crushed Baylor, 69-52, to reach its first regional final since 2005. Frank Kaminsky had 19 points and six blocks and Wisconsin registered 36 points in the paint against the lengthy Baylor zone. The second-seeded Badgers will play in a showdown in the regional finale, as the top-ranked Wildcats of Arizona outlasted the San Diego State, 70-64. Nick Johnson scored 15 of Arizona's final 16 points after starting out 0-for-10 from the floor.
Game Notes from the Badgers game:
•Wisconsin advances to the Elite 8 for the third time in school history and the second time under Bo Ryan. UW’s last appearance in the NCAA regional final was in 2005 when the Badgers lost to eventual national champion, North Carolina, 88-82, in Syracuse, N.Y.
•Baylor’s 16 points in the first half were the Bears’ fewest in a half this season. Their previous low was 21 vs. Kansas State on Feb. 15. Baylor’s 52 points also tied their season low for a game (vs. Kansas on Feb. 4).
•Wisconsin has allowed just 164 points in three NCAA tournament games, an average of 54.7 points per game.
•The Badgers have won 29 games this season, third-most in school history. This year’s squad trails only the 2006-07 team (30 wins) and the 2007-08 team (31 wins).
•UW made 26-of-51 shots (.510) just the third time in school history the Badgers have made better than 50.0 percent of their shots in an NCAA Tournament game. The only better shooting games in NCAA play for UW came against Weber State in 2003 (31-of-58, .534) and against Kansas State in 2008 (24-of-46, .522).
•Wisconsin had 18 assists on 26 made baskets, its second-highest assist total this season. UW had 19 assists in a 79-74 win at Iowa on Feb. 22.
•Ben Brust has made 11-of-20 (.550) 3-pointers in the NCAA tournament.
•Over the last four games, Frank Kaminsky is averaging 18.5 points.
Brandon Knight scored 30 points, Ramon Sessions added 22 and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 108-105 on Thursday night to break an eight-game losing streak. The Bucks swept the season series with the Lakers for the first time since 2006-07. Knight scored a career-high 37 points in Milwaukee's 94-79 victory on Dec. 31 in the other meeting. Khris Middleton added 14 points for the Milwaukee, which won for only the 14th time this season. Jordan Hill had 28 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, while Nick Young added 17 points.
VCU's Shaka Smart will not, despite recent speculation to the contrary, be the next head coach at Marquette, a source told CBSSports.com on Thursday. Consequently, Marquette's search for Buzz Williams' replacement has now completely moved on to other targets.
Among the possible candidates at Marquette now are former UCLA coach Ben Howland, Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins and Green Bay coach Brian Wardle. Williams left Marquette last week to be the new head coach at Virginia Tech, at which point Marquette quickly started a search that centered on Smart. Some media outlets in Milwaukee reported earlier this week that Smart-to-Marquette was a "done deal." But sources consistently told CBSSports.com that those reports were both inaccurate and premature.
Smart just completed his fifth year at VCU. The 36-year-old Wisconsin native has won 27, 28, 29, 27 and 26 games in his first five seasons as a head coach. He's made four straight NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the Final Four once (in 2011).
VCU finished 12-4 in the Atlantic 10 this season.
The Rams lost to Stephen F. Austin in the Round of 64.
Here are the NCAA Division I men's hockey pairings for the upcoming national tournament, including national seed, dates and sites:
Saturday: No. 1 Minnesota vs. Robert Morris, 4:30pm (in St. Paul)
Saturday: St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame, 8pm (in St. Paul)
Sunday: Regional Final, 6:30pm (in St. Paul)
Saturday: Minnesota State-Mankato vs. Massachusetts-Lowell, 6:30pm (in Worcester, MA)
Saturday: No 2 Boston College vs. Denver, 6:30pm (in Worcester, MA)
Sunday: Regional Final, 4pm (in Worcester, MA)
Friday: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. North Dakota, 7pm (in Cincinnati)
Friday: Ferris State vs. Colgate, 3:30pm (in Cincinnati)
Saturday: Regional Final, 5:30pm (in Cincinnati)
Friday: No. 3 Union vs. Vermont, 1pm (in Bridgeport, CT)
Friday: Providence vs. Quinnipiac, 4:30pm (in Bridgeport, CT)
Saturday: Regional Final, 2pm (in Bridgeport, CT)
Due to a mix of rain and snow in the Madison area on Thursday, Wisconsin softball’s home-opener against Iowa on Friday has been pushed back to a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon at Goodman Diamond.
The Badgers and Hawkeyes will meet twice on Saturday before wrapping up the series on Sunday at noon. Wisconsin softball team posters will be available at the games this weekend, and following Saturday’s doubleheader coach Yvette Healy and her assistant coaches will be providing softball tips and demonstrations of proper fundamentals at a postgame instructional session.