The Badgers mens basketball team is headed to the NCAA championship's Final Four. This weekend marked the first time since 2005 that the Badgers had made it to the "Elite Eight," and they were one of three Big Ten schools to do so. Saturday's game was a close one, with the score seesawing back and forth all night and going into overtime. Then came the longest 2.3 seconds ever, the final 2.3 seconds of the game. Officials took more than five minutes to review and determine who had final possesion of a ball knocked out of bounds. First they gave it to Wisconsin, went back to review the footage a few more times, then gave it to Arizona. Thankfully, Badger defense prevailed and Bucky won it 64-63.
Crowds spilled onto State Street from every direction following the game, jamming the lower two blocks for hours. I heard one crowd estimate of 10,000. Police were prepared for the possibilty of such an event, win or lose, and say that the boisterous crowd was well-behaved. There were no reports of arrests, injuries, or property damage -- though one officer said a construction crew would have to check their scaffolding Monday, after hundreds of fans clambered atop the structure in celebration.
Sadly, the story was quite different in Arizona, where fans rioted, destoyed property, and blocked the road leading onto campus. Tear gas was used to disperse the crowd, and at least sixteen arrests were made. Here's hoping the Badger fans behave as decorously as they did this weekend after Saturday's game, whether they win or lose.
Both of today's games were close ones that were tied several times. UConn knocked Michigan State out of the running with a 60-54 win, and Kentucky beat Mighigan by three with a 75-72 final. Florida was the fourth winner of the weekend, in Saturday's early game against Dayton. Bucky faces off against the Kentucky Wildcats at 7:49pm CDT this coming Saturday -- and seriously, who came up with these weird-ass start times? Saturday's game also had a 7:49 start time, and the first game played today was a 1:20 start. We are, of course, having a Final Four party next weekend.