NCAA tournament Sweet 16: Notre Dame 61, Badgers 56

NCAA tournament Sweet 16: Notre Dame 61, Badgers 56

March 25, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia

Season record: 22-13

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PHILADELPHIA – At some point, perhaps in the near future, the members of the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will be able to put a memorable season in the proper perspective.

That was a challenging task Friday night.

The Badgers led for most of the game at the Wells Fargo Center but saw their season end with a 61-56 loss to Notre Dame in an NCAA tournament East regional semifinal.

Junior forward V.J. Beachem scored 19 points and junior guard Demetrius Jackson added 16 for the Fighting Irish, who outscored the Badgers 8-0 over the final 19.3 seconds.

Jackson scored six of those points to move Notre Dame (24-11) within one victory of reaching the Final Four. The Irish will meet either North Carolina or Indiana on Sunday.

Redshirt freshman forward Ethan Happ finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for UW (22-13), which had two costly turnovers in the final minute.

Junior forward Nigel Hayes and junior guard Zak Showalter added 11 points apiece for the Badgers, who were seeking their third consecutive trip to the Elite Eight.

UW led 34-26 with 13:48 remaining after a basket by Happ, but Notre Dame answered with a 12-3 run to take its first lead since the first half.

But after Jackson made two free throws to give the Irish a 38-37 lead with 8:50 left, Showalter answered with two baskets. The first was a putback dunk after a missed 3-pointer by junior point guard Bronson Koenig, and Showalter drove the lane and scored on the next possession to put UW ahead 41-38 with 7:31 left.

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