Rushed Reactions: #7 Wisconsin 47, #10 Pittsburgh 43

Posted by Nate Kotisso on March 18th, 2016

Rush the Court will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of each of the NCAA Tournament from each of the 13 sites this year. Follow our NCAA Tourney specific Twitter accounts at @RTCEastregion, @RTCMWregion,@RTCSouthregion and @RTCWestregion.

It was a rock fight in every sense of the phrase as the Badgers scooted past Pittsburgh on Friday night. (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

It was a rock fight in every sense of the phrase as the Badgers scooted past Pittsburgh on Friday night. (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

Three Key Takeaways:

  1. You Care About the Result of this Game. Why? This was a #7-#10 game between two teams who will more than likely not make the Final Four. The Panthers scored 22 points in the first half! The Badgers made 6-of-24 and still trailed by six points heading into the locker room! Both teams combined for 73 rebounds! That’s a lot of misses! If you weren’t obligated to attend the game, you should not have watched this game. Michigan State lost so your bracket is already in shambles. This game wasn’t going to change your fortunes for the better. If you voluntarily watched this game, you don’t have a case of March Madness. March Derangement? Perhaps.
  2. Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ Has Very Good Footwork and More: After averaging 12.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game coming into today, it’s not hard to see why he was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. At 6’8″, Happ is undersized but showed off a couple spin moves on the baseline that led to two buckets around the rim. Happ finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Again, he’s only a freshman, which should strike fear into the rest of the Big Ten for (possibly) years to come.
  3. The Badgers Needed a Presidential “Vitto” and Got One: In this offensively-challenged affair, Wisconsin’s Vitto Brown nailed three of his team’s four threes that kept the Badgers afloat long enough for the rest of the team to rescue him.

Star of the Game: Ethan Happ, Wisconsin. The stat line for Happ was ridiculous. A 15-9-3-2-1 evening will earn this honor nine times out of 10.


  • “Vitto and I are roommates. He’s like my older brother.” – Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ, on his relationship with teammate Vitto Brown.
  • “Anytime you see the ball go in, it’s good for confidence.” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard, on his first NCAA Tournament win as a head coach.

Sights and Sounds: For Wisconsin, the atmosphere at Scottrade was reminiscent of Dayton’s game with Syracuse earlier. The Badger fans were many, they wore lots of red, and they were loud. Pitt wasn’t represented all that well, but a poorly played basketball game happened here. There’s no question the Badgers are happy they get to move on, but Greg Gard knows he faces a very capable opponent who can take advantage of his team’s missteps.

What’s Next: The Badgers will contend with the winner of the Xavier vs. Weber State contest on Sunday. If it’s Xavier, the Badgers will face one of the more unselfish teams in college basketball. If Weber State becomes the second #15 seed to upset a #2 seed in St. Louis, they’ll meet a Weber State team that has more than 200 wins as a program since Randy Rahe was named head coach in 2006.

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