Bronson Koenig, Doug Brooks

UW guard Bronson Koenig drives for the eventual winning shot against VCU on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Nov. 22, Madison Square Garden in New York

Season record: 3-2

NEW YORK — It’s November, so any notion that the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team had entered must-win territory Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden is downright silly.

But make no mistake: The Badgers’ 74-73 victory over Virginia Commonwealth in the consolation game of the 2K Classic was important.

Just ask UW coach Bo Ryan, who has 743 wins under his belt in 32 seasons running programs at the college level and rarely ventures into the land of hyperbole.

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“We needed something like that, I think,” Ryan said.

What could have been an empty trip to Manhattan for the Badgers (3-2) — at least in the win column — turned into something memorable thanks to Bronson Koenig’s game-winning basket with 5.9 seconds remaining.

The junior point guard bounced back from a poor shooting performance two days earlier with a game-high 22 points, including a clutch shot that helped UW return home with a collectivebounce in its step.

“That’s one of the best-feeling wins I feel like I’ve had here,” said UW junior guard Zak Showalter, whose resume includes being part of back-to-back Final Four teams. “That was huge. That felt good.”

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