Insider Intel: Xavier trains its D on Pitt
The Musketeers suffocated Wisconsin on Sunday. Next up: a much more difficult task
The Wisconsin Badgers have always made it through the Big Ten on grit and slide-steps, to make up for their struggle-to-60 offensive style. But in a second-round strangling Sunday, Xavier gave Wisconsin a taste of that ol' ball-deflating magic. Trevon Hughes' layup with 17:20 to go capped a 6-1 run for the Badgers at the start of the second half, putting Wisconsin up 33-26 -- a nothing run in a game between say, North Carolina and Louisville, but a potential death knell for these shot-clock-chewing squads. Knowing that getting over a double-digit lead is as unlikely as a slumdog knowing the name of the third musketeer, Sean Miller called a full timeout to regroup. And out of that game-changing TO came perhaps the best defensive stance of the tourney so far, something for Pitt to spend a few days thinking deep thoughts about.
With 6-foot-8 forward Derrick Brown flopping after loose balls and 6-5 point guard Dante Jackson helping to deny the post, the Musketeers used their length to impose a damning second-half drought that saw the Badgers rattle 13 3-point attempts and shoot 18 percent from the field.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Florida, Wichita St. remain 1-2; UK falls out
- Self 'confident' Embiid will play despite back
- Gators' Donovan harps on quick turnaround
- Players support South Carolina coach Martin
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
INSIDER TOURNEY TIPS