Thanksgiving is ruined.
The Wisconsin Badgers (4-1) lose a heartbreaker to the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks (6-0), 69-68, in overtime in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals inside the Imperial Arena at Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Badgers battled back from down 15 in the second half.
Wisconsin had a 63-60 lead at the end of regulation, Zach Clemence for Kansas missed a 3-pointer but got his own offensive rebound and stepped out of bounds before passing the ball out to Kevin McCullar Jr., who nailed a 3-pointer to tie it at 63-63. Brutal miss by the officials.
Then in overtime, Wisconsin had a 68-67 lead with 20 seconds remaining.
Wisconsin played phenomenal defense all game, but it was especially outstanding on the final possession, but Connor Essegian made the freshman mistake that Greg Gard was worried about. Kansas missed a 3-pointer and Essegian got caught watching the rebound. It’s basketball 101…you put your body on a man.
Bobby Pettiford Jr. got the rebound and put back for the game winner with 0.2 seconds left to help Kansas escape with the 69-68 win.
Devastating and brutal loss. Literally one second away from one of the biggest non-conference wins in program history.
I’m proud of the fight. Proud of the effort. This Wisconsin Badgers basketball team is tough.
Wisconsin outplaying No. 3 Kansas is notable. File this game away for when similar situations arise.
Greg Gard got the team buckets out of nearly every timeout. I’m thinking there will be some focus on defensive rebounding.
Kansas head coach Bill Self postgame said: “They had outplayed us, totally. We were not the best team today.”
The win for Kansas will look good on their resume come NCAA Tournament time.
For those of you who like to make travel plans WELL in advance, Wisconsin will be returning to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2026.
Wisconsin will play the loser of No. 22 Tennessee/USC game, which currently going on right now, tomorrow, November 25th. Tipoff will be at 12:00 p.m. (Central Time) and will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
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