Newspaper article International New York Times

Once Again, Badgers Knock Arizona out ; Wisconsin's 3-Pointers Seal 85-78 Victory and a Repeat Trip to Final Four

Newspaper article International New York Times

Once Again, Badgers Knock Arizona out ; Wisconsin's 3-Pointers Seal 85-78 Victory and a Repeat Trip to Final Four

Article excerpt

For the second year in a row, Wisconsin beat Arizona in the West Regional final to advance to the Final Four.

It felt familiar, on both ends of the court and across the spectrum of emotions.

Again, it is Wisconsin. Again, it was Frank Kaminsky, this time with a major assist from a friend.

For the second year in a row, Wisconsin beat Arizona in the West Regional final to advance to the Final Four.

The 85-78 victory at Staples Center puts the Badgers (35-3) in the national semifinals next Saturday in Indianapolis. Riding a 10- game winning streak, they will face top-seeded Kentucky.

Kaminsky, Wisconsin's 7-foot center, scored 29 points, and Wisconsin made six of its first seven 3-pointers in the second half, helping turn a 3-point halftime deficit into a 9-point lead with 10 minutes 48 seconds remaining.

Arizona chased the lead the rest of the way, but never caught it. Wisconsin shot 78.9 percent from the field in the second half, including 10 of 12 from beyond the 3-point line. None were better or braver than Wisconsin's silky 6-foot-9 forward, Sam Dekker, who had 27 points, including one dagger-like 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining and another with 17 seconds left, to seal the victory.

"Let's go get a title," Dekker told Kaminsky as they embraced at game's end.

It was the same result, but a different method, from a year ago in nearby Anaheim, Calif., when Wisconsin was seeded second in the West, Arizona first.

Wisconsin won that game in overtime, 64-63, led by 28 points from Kaminsky.

With the seedings reversed, and with most of the key players returning, the game was considered a relative rematch and a chance for Arizona (34-4) to make amends. Instead, history repeated, ending Arizona's season short of its national-title aspirations and sending Wisconsin in search of its first national championship since 1941. …

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