Wisconsin beats Villanova to advance in NCAA tournament

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BUFFALO, NY – MARCH 18: Teammates Zak Showalter #3 and Bronson Koenig #24 of the Wisconsin Badgers react against the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The eighth-seeded Wisconsin Badgers knocked off No. 1 overall seed Villanova 65-62 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the Sweet 16.

The victory marks the fourth straight year, and sixth time in seven years, that Wisconsin has reached the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

The loss for the defending champion Wildcats came after the team played poorly at the start of its first-round matchup Thursday against No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s. Villanova eventually pulled away in the second half to win that game 72-52.

Seeking to become the first repeat champions since Florida in 2006 and 2007, Villanova compiled a 31-3 record coming into the tournament and earned the No. 1 overall seed.

Wisconsin, which finished second in the Big Ten regular season standings, outlasted No. 9 Virginia Tech 84-74 on Thursday night to advance to play Villanova.

With the victory the Badgers improved their record to 27-9 and will next face the winner of Saturday night’s matchup between No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Virginia.

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