Wisconsin vs. Arizona: Live stream, start time, TV info and more


It is the matchup in the West Region that everyone was looking ahead to—the Arizona Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers in a rematch of last year’s overtime thriller of a West Region final, when the Badgers knocked off the top-seeded Wildcats 64-63 in a game that wasn’t over until Arizona’s Nick Johnson missed a jumper at the buzzer.

The roles will be reversed this time around—it is Wisconsin that is the top seed in the region and Arizona coming in as the No. 2.

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But Wisconsin had to fight to get there, trailing by as much as seven points in the second half before rallying to take the lead on Zak Showalter’s layup with 6:08 to go Thursday night against the North Carolina Tar Heels, who the Badgers had never before beaten in the tournament.

Marcus Paige made it a one-point game with a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left, but Wisconsin got eight straight free throws in the final 42 seconds—two from Bronson Koenig, two from Nigel Hayes and four from Frank Kaminsky—to seal the 79-72 victory.

They did what the good teams do when they’re down. Wisconsin never panicked, not when everything North Carolina shot seemed to go in, not when Kaminsky went down holding his face after he took an inadvertent forearm to the eye from Kennedy Meeks.

The Badgers didn’t falter because junior Sam Dekker kept them in the game, scoring 23 points, before Kaminsky could get rolling with 15 points after intermission after a 2-for-7 first half.

Wisconsin goes into Saturday’s regional final against Arizona looking to secure back-to-back Final Four appearances for the first time in program history in an already historic season that has the Badgers with a school-record 34 victories and counting.

This is the first rematch in a regional final since UCLA beat San Francisco two years in a row in 1973 and 1974.

Wisconsin is on a mission—looking to avenge a last-second loss to Kentucky at last year’s Final Four and seeking the program’s second national title, but it’s first since 1941. Wisconsin is largely the same team it was a year ago against Arizona.

Ben Brust is the only starter from that game for the Badgers that isn’t on the roster this season. The biggest difference is that Hayes and Koenig, both sophomores, are starters and not reserves, with senior Traevon Jackson on Thursday playing his first game since he broke his foot on Jan. 11.

He logged nine minutes, scoring four points. For the second straight game, Zak Showalter, the sophomore from Germantown, played a huge game, scoring six points with an assist and a steal in eight minutes after logging five points, five rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes of Wisconsin’s comeback win over Oregon in the round of 32.

Arizona, meanwhile, no longer has Aaron Gordon, who had 18 rebounds in last year’s meeting, or Nick Johnson—both are in the NBA. Gabe York, who also started against the Badgers a year ago in Anaheim, is now coming off the bench for the Wildcats and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, a reserve last year, is now a starter.

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NCAA Basketball Tournament: If it's not broken, don't fix it
NCAA Basketball Tournament: If it's not broken, don't fix it /

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  • The X-factor for Arizona, with NBA-bound standouts Stanley Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson, is senior point guard T.J. McConnell, who had 17 points, seven boards and five assists against Xavier Thursday night and has scored in double figures in seven straight games—all Arizona wins.

    The Badgers have Dekker, who has stepped up to average 20 points a game in the tournament thus far, and Kaminsky, a Naismith Trophy finalist.

    Wisconsin gets talked about as a system team, but the reality is this group has three likely NBA players—Dekker, Kaminsky and Hayes.

    That should make the difference Saturday when the Badgers clinch another Final Four berth.

    Here is how you can watch all the active live Saturday:

    Date: Saturday, March 28
    Start Time: 5:09 p.m. Central
    Location: Los Angeles
    Arena: Staples Center
    TV Info: TBS
    Live Stream: March Madness Live

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