Wisconsin with a four-point lead over Virginia Tech at halftime

Konezny and USA TODAY Sports

Konezny and USA TODAY Sports

And as he's shown in his past three, Hayes is still getting better.

In the last three games Jenkins has seemed to force a few shots as he's looked to create his own offense. "He's doing a great job of continuing to learn".

Chris Flemmings had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead UNC Wilmington. Lately, though, he's been a model of consistency. The Hokies dropped to the Wisconsin Badgers 84-74 late Thursday night, knocking Tech out of the tournament and putting an abrupt ending to its season.

UW will need all its tournament experience to dethrone an experienced Villanova team which has lost just three games-two to Butler by eight points apiece and by two points to Marquette.

Bronson Koenig hit big shots for the Badgers throughout the game, making a school-record eight 3-pointers and finishing with a career-high 28 points.

"I've seen him do a lot of things", Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. The Badgers would benefit to get him more involved and a bigger threat on the offensive side of things, especially if Happ has another off night.

The first day of the NCAA Tournament didn't have a Cinderella feel to it.

Maybe not fair, but Wright knows that's the reality.

The Villanova Wildcats are 10-0 in their last 10 games against the Big Ten. Too content to stand on the perimeter and launch 3s early in the season, he is now playing to his greatest strength, which is that there's nothing he can't do on a basketball floor.

Patty Wright said the plane was diverted to the Niagara Airport because of the weather and was four minutes from that facility when it was sent back to Philly.

"It was kind of planes, trains and automobiles a little bit, but we made it safe and sound", Jackson said. He can shoot it from 3, he can drive it, he passes it, he posts up.

Hayes remembers being an underclassmen and not understanding the urgency.

"We've been fortunate enough to make some long (tournament) runs", Hayes said. "I saw that at a young age and I want to make sure I do everything in my power to not let that happen".

Jalen Brunson added 14 points, Mikal Bridges scored 13, while Josh Hart ended with 11 and Eric Paschall chipped in with 10 for the Wildcats (32-3). He was 8-for-9 from the free throw line. They were 20 point victors over Mt. Saint Mary's in their opening game, but were only leading by one point at the half after trailing up until that point. Each time they hit a big shot he responded with a big shot. Tabbed as the team to beat - well, at least one of them - Villanova's players and coaches knew anything less than a return to the Final Four would be looked at as failure. What's probably more impressive to me that overshadows that inconsistency, is a Duke team who put together the first ever four straight wins in four games in their ACC Tournament title run. But I also think. seniors hear the clock ticking. "We don't have time to figure it out".

Not if Hayes has anything to say about it. "It's coming to an end pretty soon".

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