"Seeds don't matter", Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said after his team beat the top-seeded Wildcats.
With the win, Wisconsin advances to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight season. "It would be a really cool thing if we can get there".
UW faces No. 4 Florida (26-8) at approximately 9 p.m.
"It's an awesome accomplishment", Paris said. They have to. We're here.
"But when those guys are looking at each other in the eyes and telling people what needs to be done and how to do it, then our jobs are made easy".
Northwestern's furious second half rally against Gonzaga came up just short, but Vic Law provided us with a huge putback slam in the process.
"And those are changes".
The defending champs trailed for much of the game and did not resemble favorites to win a national championship but did build a seven-point advantage down the stretch before being outscored 15-5 as crunch time came and went. The current Villanova stars, Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins, played on all three of those teams.
"Very risky", Villanova guard Josh Hart said in describing the big boys from the Big Ten.
The Big Dance is one tough grind, which is what makes winning it so awesome. Markkanen finished with 16 points and 11 boards. With three minutes left, THE CYCLONES led 73-71 and had a better than 66% chance of winning the game.
We had been waiting patiently for this tournament to fully tap into its usual well of chaos, and on its third afternoon it made its most ample withdrawal yet. That's the approach we've taken.
Zak Showalter, a fifth-year senior who redshirted the year Koenig and Hayes were key freshmen reserves on UW's 2014 Final Four team, is ready to follow the leaders. One recent example that comes to my mind is 2009 Villanova, who was down big to American in the second half in South Philly as a 3-seed.
As they prepared to meet a team as physical as any they've played all season, the Wildcats are wary of Wisconsin. Wisconsin went on a patented "we can't hit a shot, let's throw a shot clock violation in there just for fun" scoring drought, and when DiVitalianosomething hit a three to make it 57-50 I thought it was over.
The final scoreboard: No. 8 Wisconsin 65, Villanova 62. Jenkins went 4-for-22 in two tournament games. The turning point came late in the first half, when the Gators started a 21-0 run that was their most lopsided of the season (see full recap).
"Yes", Hayes said emphatically. We will never know.
"A little damp right now", Beilein said as the postgame news conference began. "We've waited for this moment", the younger McKie said.
WHEN THERE are just 60 possessions in a game, every last one is important.
How will this Villanova team be remembered?
"Regardless of what their record is, those guys are winners at a high, high level", Paris said of Villanova.
"They have high expectations".
"They're my brothers for life, regardless of what happened this year", he added. "At the end of the day, they made more winning plays than us".
"So to impose your will against a team like that, certainly that's impressive". Exactly 44 years later, the drought - the Gamecocks were one-and-done in their next five appearances - finally came to end in front of a boisterous, SC crowd who traveled the 2 hours north from Columbia to witness the end of an ugly run they couldn't have imagined would last this long.