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Badgers get Ryan his first Final Four

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan will be surrounded by friends and family at the 2014 Final Four after all.

Ryan, who won four NCAA Division III titles at UW-Platteville, has a chance to win his first in 13 seasons at Wisconsin.

The No. 2-seeded Badgers rallied for a 64-63 overtime victory over top-seeded Arizona on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 17,814 at the Honda Center to win the West Region and secure Ryan's first Final Four appearance and the program's first since an unexpected run in 2000.

Wisconsin (30-7) plays Saturday in Arlington, Texas, against either Michigan or Kentucky.

The victory over the Wildcats (33-5) comes eight months after the death of Butch Ryan, Bo's father. Bo Ryan took his father to Final Fours all over the country for three decades.

"He saw us win four national championships," Ryan said before the game, referring to his time at UW-Platteville. "I don't care what net you're cutting down or what it is, it's like winning a state championship in high school.

"My dad has won enough championships or he won enough when he was coaching, so excellence to him wasn't so much the trophy.

"It's all about the experiences that you're gaining along the way."

Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 28 points and 11 rebounds. He hit 11 of 20 shots, including a putback off a miss by Traevon Jackson with 1:11 left in overtime to give Wisconsin a 64-61 lead.

Reserve Jordin Mayes followed a miss by Nick Johnson to pull Arizona within a point again with 58.4 seconds left.

After an Arizona timeout, Jackson missed a contested drive and Arizona rebounded. T.J. McConnell missed a 3-pointer but tracked down his rebound. That led to Johnson driving hard to the basket, but he was called for an offensive foul against Josh Gasser with 3.2 seconds left.

Dekker tried to hit Jackson on the inbounds pass, but it was contested by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and the ball went out of bounds with 2.3 seconds left. The officials ruled Wisconsin ball, but after a video review that dragged on for several minutes they reversed the call.

Arizona's Gabe York got the ball in to Johnson, who dribbled toward the left wing but didn't get a jumper off in time.

The ball caromed off the rim, and the Badgers were headed to Texas.

Jackson added 10 points and five assists for Wisconsin.

Ben Brust, Sam Dekker and Gasser combined to make 2 of 10 field-goal attempts in the first half. But Brust hit a crucial 3-pointer to give the Badgers a 57-54 overtime lead and finished with five points. Dekker finished with seven points and eight rebounds, and Gasser had five points and five rebounds.

Badgers get Ryan his first Final Four 03/29/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 30, 2014 12:38am]
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