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Double Trouble: Finley, Griffith lead Badgers past Cincinnati

2000 NCAA Tournament
Game Photo
Wisconsin Wisconsin 80, 8 Cincinnati 72
Dee Events Center • Ogden, Utah • Attendance: 12,126

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1st 2nd Final
40 40 80
32 40 72
 Statistical Leaders
 • Rashard Griffith: 22 Pts, 15 Reb, 12-14 FT
 • Michael Finley: 22 Pts, 4 Ast, 3 Reb, 7-13 3FG 
 • Jeff Petersen: 8 Pts, 7 Reb, 4-7 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .455 .381
 3-Point FG Percentage .364 .263
 FT Percentage .759 .864
 Rebounds 40 38
 Turnovers 16 13
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March 17, 1994

OGDEN, Utah -- Behind double-digit scoring efforts from Michael Finley and Rashard Griffith, the Wisconsin men's basketball team defeated ninth-seeded Cincinnati, 80-72, Thursday night in the opening round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament in front of 12,126 at the Dee Events Center.

The victory erased a 47-year winless drought for the Badgers as UW will advance in the Big Dance for the first time since winning the 1941 NCAA title. 

Wisconsin head coach Stu Jackson said the victory proved his team can play with composure under pressur.

"To their credit, we really didn't rattle," Jackson said. "When they went ahead, I sensed we got a little bit more focused, as strange as that may be.

"That's a sign of a team that kept it's poise."

 Fast Facts
• Finley & Griffith combine to score 44 of UW's 80 pts
• Griffith finished 12-of-14 from the FT stripe
• UW played in first NCAA tourney game since 1947

"We thought that a lot of people were kind of counting us out so we got ticked off and used that as motivation," said Finley, who scored 22 points.

Finley's first big play helped halt a Cincinnati scoring run as he sank a 3-pointer to put the Badgers ahead, 57-55, with 9:23 remaining in regulation.

The bucket helped derail a 17-5 Bearcats run that put Cincinnati ahead 55-54 for the first time all game. And although Bearcats leading scorer Dontonio Wingfield answered with a 3-pointer of his own, Finley again pressed the Badgers' case.

With just over seven minutes remaining, Finley drove the right baseline, threw down a dunk and drew the foul. He completed the 3-point play at the free throw stripe as UW took a 60-58 lead.

"I saw an open lane and just took advantage of it," Finley said. "It was going back and forth, they had the lead and a little momentum, so I took it upon myself to get a basket."

Finley would again hit a 3-pointer as the Badgers' increased their lead to 69-62 and cruised to victory.

Griffith, who sat out four games during the regular season with knee and back injuries, displayed his overall game by adding 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Badgers as the 6-foot-11 freshman center finished 12-for-14 (.857) from the free throw line.

"My confidence is back," Griffith said. "I told them I wasn't going to keep talking about it. I was going to show them."

The Badgers will advance to take on the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, March 19, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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