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Heartbreak: Wisconsin Badgers fall to Florida Gators 84-83 in NCAA matchup

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NEW YORK — After Zak Showalter’s incredible shot for Wisconsin, Florida’s Chris Chiozza came up with an even wilder one to send the Gators into the Elite Eight.

Chiozza took an inbounds pass, sprinted nearly the length of the court and hit a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to help Florida beat Wisconsin 84-83 in overtime.

Chiozza’s shot came after Nigel Hayes had hit two free throws with 4.0 seconds left to put the Badgers up 83-81.

The game went to overtime — the first of the tournament — when Showalter hit an off-balance 3-pointer off his right foot with 2.5 seconds left in regulation to cap a late comeback for Wisconsin.


11:30 p.m.

Wow! How about overtime?

Zak Showalter just hit an off-balance 3-pointer off his right foot for Wisconsin, tying the game at 72-all with 2.5 seconds left to cap a late comeback. Showalter then gave the “Discount Doublecheck” gesture to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was attending the game to root for the Badgers.

Florida had one more chance, but the Gators couldn’t get off a shot after a fullcourt inbounds heave.


11:10 p.m.

Wisconsin forward Vitto Brown picked up his fifth foul with 7:10 to go in the game. Brown had 10 points in 26 minutes. He leaves with Wisconsin trailing 64-56.


11 p.m.

Kentucky has advanced to the Elite Eight behind a big night from freshman De’Aaron Fox.

The second-seeded Wildcats beat third-seeded UCLA 86-75 in the South Region semifinals in Memphis, Tennessee. And Fox scored a season-high 39 points to get the better of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball in a matchup of star freshmen point guards.

Fellow freshman Malik Monk scored 21 points to help Kentucky earn a matchup with No. 1 seed North Carolina in Sunday’s regional final.

Ball managed just 10 points.


10:55 p.m.

Here comes Wisconsin. The Badgers used a 12-1 run and a three-point play by Nigel Hayes to regain the lead, but KeVaughn Allen came right back with a 3 to make it 55-53 Florida with 9:29 left.

— Ralph D. Russo reporting from New York.


10:45 p.m.

Florida has Wisconsin on the ropes early in the second half — and Gators leading scorer KeVaughn Allen is busting out of his scoring slump.

After scoring just 11 points total in two victories last week, Allen has 24 against Wisconsin. Florida leads 49-41 with 15:06 left.

— Ralph D. Russo reporting from New York.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 26: Ethan Happ #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass against Kevarrius Hayes #13 of the Florida Gators in the first half during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


10:40 p.m.

Kentucky is taking over.

The second-seeded Wildcats have stretched out to a 69-58 lead with 5:58 left against third-seeded UCLA. Freshman Malik Monk has 14 of his 21 points in the second half, while fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox has 26 points while getting the better of his star-freshman matchup with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball at the point.

Making matters worse for the Bruins, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh has already fouled out.


10:30 p.m.

Things are changing in New York.

Florida wiped out an 11-point deficit in the first half by turning up the pressure on Wisconsin. The Gators guards started getting into the jersey of Bronson Koenig and the Badgers offense, so fluid early, was suddenly out of sorts.

KeVaughn Allen hit a 3 and was fouled shooting 3s twice late in the first half. He made all six free throws.

Florida has taken a 45-39 lead at the 16-minute mark.

— Ralph D. Russo reporting from New York.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 24: Nigel Hayes #10 of the Wisconsin Badgers shoots the ball in the first half against the Florida Gators during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


10:10 p.m.

Well, Malik Monk finally is knocking down shots.

The Kentucky freshman had only seven points in the first half, and he already has 10 within the first five minutes of the second half. Monk has hit 4 of 5 shots, including a pair of 3s.

That has helped Kentucky push its lead to as much as six. The Wildcats lead UCLA 50-46 with the ball with 15:16 left.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.


9:45 p.m.

It’s halftime in Memphis.

Second-seeded Kentucky leads third-seeded UCLA 36-33 in the South Region semifinals. And Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox is winning the battle of touted freshmen point guards, scoring 20 points to just six from UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.


9:30 p.m.

So far, the South Regional semifinal between a pair of the nation’s best scoring teams is just muddling along.

UCLA led the nation averaging 90.2 points a game with Kentucky ninth averaging 85.2 points a game. Six Bruins averaged double figures during the season, and only TJ Leaf has gotten there so far with 10 points for UCLA.

Malik Monk, the Southeastern Conference player of the year, has just two points for Kentucky. But UCLA leads only 26-25 after 17 minutes of the first half.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.


9:25 p.m.

Live from New York, it’s Friday Night — with a late East Coast start time.

The Wisconsin-Florida didn’t tip off until 10:12 p.m. and the Badgers fans seemed to outnumber the Gators, who were trying to make it an all-Southeastern Conference matchup in the East Regional final.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was at Madison Square Garden and between games he changed from his garnet (South Carolina) tie to one with orange and blue for Florida. Meanwhile, he also had to keep tabs on Kentucky, which was playing UCLA in Memphis.

— Ralph D. Russo reporting from New York.


9:07 p.m.

UCLA and Kentucky is starting out just as fast as expected between a pair of programs that are among the nation’s top-scoring teams.

Now the Wildcats need somebody other than De’Aaron Fox to score.

The freshman guard has hit his first four shots and has all of Kentucky’s first eight points.

But, UCLA is up 11-8 after back-to-back dunks, the last a three-point play by Thomas Welsh.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.


8:54 p.m.

Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points and seventh-seeded South Carolina cruised past third-seeded Baylor 70-50 on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals, the Bears’ worst NCAA Tournament loss.

The Gamecocks (25-10) were in control from the middle of the first half on, mixing defenses and hustling all over the Madison Square Garden court to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time.

South Carolina will meet the winner of the Wisconsin-Florida game on Sunday with a trip to the Final Four at stake.

DJ Dozier and Chris Silva had 12 points each and Duane Notice added 11 for the Gamecocks.

Johnathan Motley had 18 points, 12 in the second half, for Baylor (27-8), which just couldn’t get any offense going. The Bears missed 11 of their first 13 shots from the field and it didn’t get a whole lot better the entire game. They finished 17 for 56 from the field (30.4 percent), including 3 for 13 from 3-point range.

— Jim O’Connell reporting from New York.


8:20 p.m.

North Carolina is now within a win of a second straight Final Four.

The No. 1 seed in the South Region led by as many as 20 points before beating fourth-seeded Butler 92-80 in Memphis, Tennessee. That sent UNC back to the regional final, the latest step toward its season-long goal of returning to the national championship game and playing for the title that slipped away in last year’s loss to Villanova.

The Tar Heels (30-7) will face the UCLA-Kentucky winner on Sunday.


8:14 p.m.

South Carolina is blowing away Baylor — and Baylor isn’t used to being blown out.

The seventh-seeded Gamecocks jumped ahead 55-38 with just over nine minutes left and appears set to cruise to the East Region finals. It’s unchartered territory for the Bears, who haven’t lost by more than six points since a 21-point defeat at West Virginia in early January.

But Baylor is shooting just 29 percent from the floor and is losing the rebounding battle, two areas the Bears typically excel at.


7:46 p.m.

Top-seeded North Carolina is well on its way to a blowout of Butler.

But the basketball should be much better in the nightcap of the South Region.

UCLA, led by freshman phenom Lonzo Ball, has the nation’s top-scoring offense at 90.2 points per game. The Bruins also shoot 52.1 percent.

The Kentucky Wildcats aren’t too shabby themselves, scoring 85.2 points a game. Coach John Calipari, in his return to Memphis, will counter Ball with his trio of freshmen: Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo.

UCLA also topped Kentucky by five at Rupp Arena earlier this season — so motivation shouldn’t be an issue for the ‘Cats either.

—Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.

7:21 p.m.

South Carolina might be more than just a cute story after all.

The seventh-seeded Gamecocks used a 14-0 run to take a 29-15 lead over Baylor late in the first half in an East Region semifinal.

Chris Silva and Sindarius Thornwell each had four points during the game’s first decisive run. South Carolina is also doing a very effective job with Baylor big man Johnathan Motley down low. He is just 2 for 8 from the field — and the Bears are 6 of 27 overall.

— Jim O’Connell reporting from New York.


7:10 p.m.

The top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels are in cruise control at halftime of their South Regional semifinal.

The Tar Heels lead No. 4 seed Butler 52-36. They were up by as much as 20 before going the final 2:05 of the first half without a point.

Justin Jackson is leading North Carolina with 17 points. Luke Maye is a rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Joel Berry II has 10 points.

The Tar Heels have cooled off a bit behind the arc and are just shooting 47 percent (8 of 17) from 3-point range. But they are hitting 52.9 percent (18 of 34) and have a 22-11 edge on the boards over the smaller Bulldogs.

The winner of this game will play either UCLA or Kentucky on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four in Phoenix.

—Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.


6:48 p.m.

The top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels are doing their best to shoot Butler right out of the South Regional semifinal.

Justin Jackson, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, already has 13 points on five of six shooting. Joel Berry II had hit only three of his 21 shots in the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament — but he has yet to miss and has 10 points himself for North Carolina.

The Tar Heels are shooting 72.7 percent (13 of 18). They are even better behind the arc, hitting 6 of 7 (85.7 percent).

Jackson’s second 3 gave North Carolina a 38-24 lead with 7:19 left in the first half.

They’re shooting so well the Tar Heels have had plenty of chances to stand up and celebrate on the bench.

—Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.

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