PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — — Kansas’ Bobby Pettiford Jr. stood all the best way out close to midcourt, nearly on the Battle 4 Atlantis emblem, when he noticed his teammate launch a shot for the lead with only some seconds left in extra time.
“I imply, I usually do not crash however that is the one time I get to crash,” Pettiford mentioned.
He sprinted all the best way underneath the basket simply in time to see a unfastened rebound pop to him. Pettiford then made a twisting reverse layup with 0.2 seconds left to offer No. 3 Kansas a 69-68 win in opposition to Wisconsin on Thursday in a event semifinal sport.
Pettiford’s layup marked his solely factors of the sport, capping a thriller that noticed Wisconsin rally from 15 down early within the second half behind a robust efficiency from Tyler Wahl.
Trailing 68-67, Kansas’ ultimate play appeared caught when Jalen Wilson needed to kick out a move to Zach Clemence past the three-level arc with about 5 seconds left. Clemence launched the lengthy 3 that banged off the basket, however Wilson stored the play alive by tipping the ball sufficient to maintain Wahl from snagging the rebound.
The ball went proper to Pettiford.
“I had type of a great angle, however I imply, type of just a little little bit of luck and talent on the similar time,” he mentioned. “So I simply type of hoped it went in.”
Pettiford landed on the ground as he watched the ball undergo the online, then prolonged his fists in entrance of him and yelled as he began to sit down up. Wisconsin’s Max Klesmit crouched down right into a squat, in disbelief.
By the time Pettiford acquired on his toes, he had a giant smile whereas his teammates started to hug him close to the baseline nook to have a good time. The workforce left the courtroom to chants of “Bobby! Bobby!” as they headed to Friday’s championship sport.
Wilson scored 29 factors and had 14 rebounds for the reigning nationwide champion Jayhawks (6-0), and Kevin McCullar Jr. had 18 factors and 9 rebounds — and a 3 with 11.8 seconds left in regulation to drive extra time.
“We had nothing going (within the second half) and so they fully outplayed us,” coach Bill Self mentioned. “Obviously we made two performs on the finish of regulation and the tip of extra time that mainly gave us the win. We weren’t the perfect workforce at this time.
Wahl led the Badgers (4-1) with 23 factors and 10 rebounds. He scored 14 factors within the second half in what was at occasions a one-man comeback, together with a run of 9 straight factors along with his workforce down eight within the ultimate 3 1/2 minutes of regulation.
His final rating was a spinning drive in opposition to a falling Wilson for a layup and the 68-67 lead with 21 seconds left in OT.
The Badgers simply could not get a ultimate cease.
“We’re not into ethical victories, however this group confirmed me quite a bit at this time,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard mentioned. “And we additionally realized we now have loads of issues we are able to proceed to get higher at.”
Wisconsin: The similar workforce that struggled to crack 40 factors — or make a shot, frankly — within the first spherical of the event in opposition to Dayton on its approach to one other dangerous offensive displaying. Instead, Wahl and the Badgers confirmed resilience and climbed again into it, they stayed shot for shot with Kansas down the stretch.
“He kicked our butt,” Self mentioned of Wahl.
Kansas: The Jayhawks didn’t have a simple time of their Atlantis debut on Thursday, needing to battle to the ultimate minutes in opposition to North Carolina State. This time, Pettiford was in the correct place on the proper time after Wilson tipped the ball from Wahl’s attain for a rebound off Zach Clemence’s missed 3-pointer. Just like that, Kansas was nonetheless unbeaten with a 17-sport successful streak courting to final 12 months’s run to Self’s second NCAA title.
Wisconsin: The Badgers will face Southern California, which misplaced to No. 22 Tennessee, in Friday’s third-place sport.
Kansas: The Jayhawks superior to Friday’s championship sport to face the Volunteers in a ranked-in opposition to-ranked finale.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
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