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Sweet and Sour: Badgers fall to Curry, Davidson in Sweet 16

2013 NCAA Tournament
Game Photo
Davidson 10 Davidson 73, 3 Wisconsin 56
2008 NCAA Tournament - Sweet 16 (Midwest Region)
Ford Field • Detroit, Mich. • Attendance: 57,028

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1st 2nd Final
36 37 73
36 20 56
 Statistical Leaders
 • Michael Flowers: 12 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast
 • Jason Bohannon: 11 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast
 • Brian Butch: 11 Pts, 2 Reb, 4-9 FG 
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .491 .412
 3-Point FG Percentage .500 .238
 FT Percentage .750 .778
 Offensive Rebounds 11 14
 Defensive Rebounds 17 17
 Total Rebounds 28 31
 Turnovers 7 12
 Blocks 0 3
 Steals 9 2
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March 28, 2008

DETROIT, Mich. -- The Wisconsin men's basketball team ended its season falling 73-56 to the Davidson Wildcats in the Midwest Regional Semifinal at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.

Wisconsin finished the season with a school record 31 wins and won both the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.

 Fast Facts
• Game was tied at 36-36 at the half
• Badgers were outscored 37-20 in 2nd half
• UW shot 23.8 pct from field in second half

The Badgers were led by Michael Flowers who scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds. Three other Badgers scored in double digits; Brian Butch (11), Jason Bohannon (11) and Joe Krabbenhoft (10).

The four seniors, Tanner Bronson, Brian Butch, Michael Flowers and Greg Stiemsma leave as the school's all-time winningest class, reaching an Elite 8 and two Sweet 16s.

Davidson was led by freshman All-American Stephen Curry who tallied 33 points on 11-of-22 shooting. The Wildcats' Jason Richards ended the night with 11 points and 13 assists.

Badgers defensive specialist Michael Flowers has made many a perimeter player ineffective, and Wisconsin was holding opponents to 53.9 points, best in the nation. Their 3-point defense was even stingier; in the second round last weekend, Kansas State didn't manage a single bucket from long range.

Instead of being intimidated by the big stage -- not to mention the monstrous Ford Field venue -- Curry and Davidson played with such ease and attitude they may as well have been in their cozy little gym back home. The Wildcats shot 49 percent from the floor, and were 12-of-24 from 3-point range. Jason Richards had 11 points and 13 assists, and Lovedale added 12 points.

"Michael did a pretty good job of chasing Curry and trying to force some things," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "He made some tough shots. But so did some of the other guys. I thought they got a lot of contributions when they needed them. And that's how you get to keep playing in the NCAA tournament."

Flowers led the Badgers with 12 and three others finished in double figures, but the Badgers never found their rhythm offensively. nd the defense that was so fearsome all year never materialized. Wisconsin prides itself on making opponents work the shot clock down in search of a decent -- heck, any -- shot. But time and again, Wisconsin would score only to have Davidson race down the court and make a basket of its own a mere seconds later.

"I felt like we were always in it," said Brian Butch said. "I felt like we needed to make some plays and we didn't make any plays."

Curry, on the other hand, did.

Marcus Landry's jumper pulled the Badgers within 48-45 with 13:48 to play. That's when Curry took over.

He made a 3, and Jason Richards stole the ball on the other end. Racing upcourt, Richards found Curry camped in the corner all by himself and dished off. Joe Krabbenhoft -- a member of the Big Ten's all-defensive team -- sprinted toward Curry and jumped, hoping to block the shot.

But Curry calmly waited until Krabbenhoft flew by him and then, with that silky smooth shot that's becoming a signature of this year's tournament, made another 3 to put Davidson up 54-45 with 13:03 to play.

As his teammates cheered, Curry thumped his chest and pointed skyward. The basket gave him 23 points -- twice as many as anybody else on the court -- and was his fifth 3-pointer of the night.

"It's hard for a defense to sustain themselves for a whole 40 minutes. Eventually, you'll find yourself open," Curry said. "It's just being patient and sticking to the system that we have at Davidson."

He wasn't done yet, either.

Davidson had run the shot clock almost all the way down, looking for something. Curry finally took an off-balance shot from NBA 3-point range, falling as he released the ball. No matter. It was good, just like almost everything else he did Friday night.

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