Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter JR Radcliffe will provide live updates, capturing the sights and sounds from inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, host of four NCAA Tournament first-round games Friday. The night culminates, of course, with the Wisconsin Badgers facing off against Colgate.
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Tyrese Hunter, who might very well be a problem for Wisconsin tomorrow, set an ew career high with is 23 points, and he was asked if he’d been recruited by Wisconsin after the game. He replied he wasn’t.
He also said he was looking at his family in the crowd on some of his big 3-point makes, and was hoping to see his grandmother, who was unable to attend.
“He was tone of the most excited guys in (the locker room) before the game started,” teammate Izaiah Brockington said. “He’s been like that all year, no matter the implications of the game, no matter how big the game is, he’s ready to go out there, ready to be aggressive … he doesn’t let the moment get too big for him. He’s always poised, always ready to make a big play when we need it.”
Racine native Tyrese Hunter finished with a game-high 23 points, and Iowa State won at tense battle over LSU, 59-54. What a performance for the hometown kid in his first NCAA Tournament appearance.
That leaves us with one game, the one Badgers fans came to Milwaukee to see. The winner between Wisconsin and Colgate will get Iowa State.
Hunter doing all he can to keep ISU ahead
A massive, deep 3-pointer by Tyrese Hunter gives him 20 points, and the Cyclones have mangaed to stay ahead of LSU. It’s 56-54 after the Tigers’ Mwani Wilkinson scored underneath on a great feed from Xavier Pinson, with 47.8 seconds to play.
With 1:56 to go, Iowa State leads, 51-50.
Darius Days just split a pair of free throws that could have tied the game, and Iowa State nearly gave it away on the ensuing sequence. LSU’s pressure has bothered Iowa State today, even though the Cyclones have a relatively accetable 10 turnovers at this stage.
Badgers fans in the building just praying for no overtime.
Buckle up for a fun finish. After a pair of Eason free throws, LSU is back within 50-47, 3 minutes to go, and a spot in the second round on the line.
It’s definitely not over yet. LSU is within 50-45 and 4:37 to go, prompting Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger to call timeout.
Eason, playing with four fouls over the past three minutes, is up to 14 points with a layup for LSU that’s cut the lead in half since Tyrese Hunter gave the Cyclones a 10-point lead. It’s a 2:32 scoring drought for ISU since.
Iowa State has missed 3-pointers on each of its last four trips down the floor.
Tyrese Hunter’s 3-pointer with 9:40 to go spotted the Cyclones a 44-35 lead. Then, he drained another one just before the shot clock expired, a calm corner three that gave Iowa State a 47-37 lead with 7:50 to go. The Racine native then worked the crowd a little, although LSU came right back down and scored with contact. The Tigers will have a free throw coming after a timeout, with the lead 47-39 and 7:41 to play.
Hunter is up to a game-high 17 points with three steals and three assists.
Tari Eason, LSU’s leading scorer and best player, just picked up his foruth foul with 11:05 to go. He’s got 9 points for the Tigers.
Lead still 41-35 with the under-12 media timeout at 11:05.
Reserves have played a big role for Iowa State today. Caleb Grill hit a 3-pointer after LSU had whittled the lead to 1 point, then picked up a loose ball and went the other way for a dunk, giving the Cyclones a 41-35 lead with 11:20 to go.
Darius Days had two big steals for the Tigers, turning one into a coast-ot-coast dunk, but the Tigers couldn’t take the lead.
Grill has eight points for Iowa State. Days has 13 for the Tigers, who’ve refused to let ISU stay comfortable with its lead.
Iowa State reserve forward Jaz Kunc has drawn at least three fouls today, including Eason’s pivotal third (though Eason is still on the floor, as it turns out).
Kunc also hit a 3-pointer that momentarily spotted ISU a 5-point lead; it’s back down to 31-28 with 15:18 to go. They’re Kunc’s only points, but he also has three rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
LSU’s Efton Reid hit two free throws after Iowa State’s Robert Jones was assessed a flagrant, pulling LSU back within a point, but then the Tigers gave the favor right back. LSU was whistled for too many people on the court after some substitution confusion.
Iowa State inbounded before the refs noticed the issue, and Izaiah Brockington split the free throws to give ISU a 28-26 lead.
Bad news for LSU: Leading scorer Tari Eason picked up his third foul when he was hit with a charge, so the Tigers are going to be a little shorthanded for the immediate future.
There’s 16:39 to go.
Fans at Fiserv Forum were hanging on the end of the Illinois-Chattanooga game before the second half began here in Milwaukee. Chattanooga, coached by former Badgers assistant Lamont Paris, had the upset in their grasp but couldn’t hit a buzzer beater. I thought we might miss the ending with the start of this game, leading to a pretty disappointed room, but we indeed got to see the finish.
Will we get a final-possession battle here, too? LSU back within 27-24 and has the ball early in the second half.
Purdue had 46 points in the first half earlier today in this building. The two teams here did not combine for that many at half.
Iowa State did not score in the final 6:36 of the half, so the Cyclones are lucky to be up at all, let alone by 5 points. LSU closed on a 7-0 run, although that’s not exactly a resounding number over a 6:36 window. Both teams took 27 shots from the field: Iowa State hit nine of theirs and LSU hit seven.
The Tigers were guilty of 10 turnovers. Iowa State’s Izaiah Brockington is the only player in double figures, and he has 10 points.
LSU is still down, 24-17, with 2:03 left, but they maybe got al little juice back when Eric Gaines pummeled a chasedown block off the backboard, robbing Izaiah Brockington of an easy breakaway bucket. The ball might have even gone out of bounds off Iowa State, but LSU got a stop on the ensuing possession anyway.
Iowa State has missed its last six shots but still has the lead and the ball in the closing stretch of the first half.
Racine St. Catherine’s alumnus Tyrese Hunter is up to three steals already, and his last swipe ultimately yields another basket for Izaiah Brockington, who has 10 points for Iowa State, now up 21-12 on LSU with 7:22 left.
Brockington with a head shake for the closest defender, Efton Reid, on his way down the court as LSU interim coach Kevin Nickelberry called timeout.
Xavier Pinson tried to get fancy on an entry pass with a no-look touch, and it sailed out of bounds for the seventh Tigers turnover of the night. LSU has been all out of sorts, shooting 5 of 16 from the field, 1 of 3 at the line and 1 of 5 from deep.
Iowa State leads, 19-12, at the 7:50 mark. Offense at a premium, and Brockington is only 3 of 7 but he does lead all scorers with 8 points. LSU’s Darius Days has four rebounds but just 1 point.
The teams have combined to shoot 8 of 23 and 2 for 8from distance. Iowa State nursing a small 10-9 lead at the 12:00 mark exactly.
Xavier Pinson just scored and got fouled, so the LSU guard will be shooting a free throw after we return from the first media timeout. All tied at 9-9, with a Tyrese Hunter basket as the main highlight: A drive and flip behind him off the glass and good. The Racine kid scores his first NCAA points just north of where he grew up.
Badgers fans will remember Izaiah Brockington, who scores game’s first points
Iowa State’s leading scorer is Izaiah Brockington, who spent some time at Penn State.
He’s got the Cyclones’ first two buckets of the game, giving ISU a quick 4-2 lead on LSU.
Like the last game, we have some Wisconsin connections in this contest, too.
Tyrese Hunter, who played at Racine St. Catherine’s last year, was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year for Iowa State and is a big part of what the Cyclones do. He was given a warm round of applause by hte many, many Badgers fans in attendance during pregame intros.
Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger is a Milwaukee native who attended St. Thomas More High School (and hey, they just played in their first ever WIAA state tournament in boys basketball yesterday). Top assistant J.R. Blount led Dominican in Whitefish Bay to two state titles.
The 8:50 p.m. local tip was already going to be a bear for Badgers fans who like their beauty rest, but the game before it is now scheduled to tip at 6:57 p.m. — 37 minutes after its intended 6:20 p.m. tip.
As one could have surmised from looking at the times, there was precious little time between the end of Game 2 and start of Game 3 in Milwaukee, not nearly enough to prepare for an arena turnover. Some fans have all-session passes, but many more had to leave before new fans could get to their seats, and concession stands closed down in the interim. Plus, things like garbage have to get dealt with — no arena is easily equipped to operate at capacity for four consecutive games.
It feels like an extra half hour at least was necessary to bake into this schedule. It was really crowded and confusing on the concourses between games.
Some late drama, including two fouls on Brock Cunningham (one a deadball foul) that led to four Virginia Tech free throws, and then a turnover and 3-pointer by Hunter Cattoor, made this game close down the stretch. But it was still all Longhorns.
Andrew Jones got a breakaway slam and finished with 21 points to lead the Horns, with four other players hitting double figures.
The Longhorns are marching onward thanks to a huge second half. The Hokies, who got here with a surge through the ACC Conference Tournament, are heading home with a 23-13 record.
The senior-laden Longhorns have a lot of options to try and slow down Jaden Ivey, Zach Edey and Trevion Williams of Purdue, and if they make shots like they did today, they’ll be a scary matchup for the Boilermakers.
Texas, which allowed 59.6 points per game this year, comes into the tournament as the third best scoring defense in the field.
After Texas broke a Virginia Tech press and drained the shot clock, Courtney Ramey’s 3-pointer from the top of the key has pretty much sealed this off. Texas has a 73-59 lead with 1:32 to go.
Ramey’s up to 8 points, and three other Longhorns have double figures. Leading scorer Timmy Allen has 14 and has fouled out, but he’ll get to play again Sunday.
The Longhorns and Boilermakers will meet here Sunday.
Texas has a 68-55 lead with 3:32 to go, and I’m not sure how they’re going to empty out this venue in time for a (roughly) 6:20 p.m. start for LSU-Iowa State. Game won’t start on time, I’d have to think, so Badgers fans can expect that 8:50 tip to be later than advertised.
The first half: Back and forth the whole way. This half: all Texas. Christian Bishop had a breakaway dunk that felt like an early nail in the coffin, and Texas now leads Virginia Tech, 61-47, with 7:14 to go. Many fans have left the building (the Badgers fans, presumably), to prepare themselves for the conflagration that is to come in the second session.
Andrew Jones still leads the way with 19 points. After all he’s been through, he’s finally going to get a chance to play in an NCAA Tournament victory.
With a win, the Longhorns would play Purdue in the second round Sunday.
Virginia Tech is going to need a run. There’s still time, but it’s 55-43, Texas, with 10:33 to play in this game. Marcus Carr is looking confident, up to 13 points.
Would be a big psychic lift for the Longhorns fan base with first-year coach Chris Beard at the helm. They’ve had some unimaginable bad luck in this showcase.
Virginia Tech will get to shoot some free throws after the under-12 media timeout, but Texas has taken a bit of control in this game, up 50-42 with 11:31 to go. That buzzer beater at the first half, I’m telling ya! It’s going to be seen as the tide-turner in this game.
Andrew Jones leads all scorers with 17 points, but Timmy Allen has 12 and Marcus Carr 10 now. Texas is 8 of 15 from 3-point range. Keve Aluma has been stuck at 10 points leading Va Tech for a while.
Much closer to the arc this time, Marcus Carr just drained another 3-pointer to give Texas a 44-38 lead over Virginia Tech, the biggest lead of the game for the Longhorns. It’s been nip and tuck this whole game, but maybe someone is finally seizing some control.
Carr has 8 points and the Longhorns have now hit eight 3-pointers, including five by Andrew Jones and two by Carr.
Keve Aluma started the game on fire for Virginia Tech but has been quiet since, though he does have 10 points.
Halfcourt buzzer beaters and Wisconsin ties have come together before. In 2016, Merrill native Paul Jesperson hit a half court buzzer beater for Northern Iowa, sending Texas to an absolutely crushing first-round defeat in the NCAA Tournament.
This one didn’t have the same stakes at the end of the first half, but perhaps it will help Texas break out of their bad-luck streak in the Big Dance.
A wild way to end the first half!
Marcus Carr unleashed a shot from shy of half court and banked it home, a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave Texas a 34-32 lead over Virginia Tech at the break.
Middleton native Storm Murphy’s first points of the day came at the free-throw line with 2.1 seconds left to give his team the lead. He’d been hurrying up court in a hurry and rew a second foul on Texas leading scorer Timmy Allen, just after Andrew Jones hit his fourth 3-pointer of the half to give Texas the lead.
Carr managed to swing it back. That’s a heck of a moment!
The Hokies call timeout as Texas prepares to shoot the bonus with 55.6 seconds to go in the first half. It’s 29-27, Virginia Tech.
Lot of contributions from the Hokies bench (11 points).
Purdue scored 46 points in the first half against Yale in Game 1; with 3:46 to go, the two teams on the floor in Game 2have yet to combine for that sum. Virginia Tech has a 23-22 lead on Texas.
Keve Aluma has 8 points for Tech and Pedulla has a pair of 3-pointers off the bench. Andrew Jones leads all scorers with 9 points for Texas. The native son, Muprhy, hasn’t scored yet but does have an assist and three boards. Pedulla seems to be playing really well as his backup.
The crowd is taking Virginia Tech’s side
The crowd definitely seems to be on Virginia Tech’s side as we get into the homestretch of the first half — a couple 50/50 calls have gone Texas’s way and elicited some boos. And I don’t think it’s strictly Virginia Tech fans driving that bus.
It’s not a high-scoring affair, with Texas ahead, 20-18, and 6:30
Jones hit his third 3-pointer of the game to spot Texas a 4-point lead, but Keve Aluma (8 points) and Virginia Tech are back to even at 18-18 with 7:48 to go.
Between the senior Murphy and the freshman Sean Pedulla, I’d wager Virginia Tech as the youngest looking point guards in the country.
Andrew Jones hit consecutive 3-pointers for Texas, who are now within 14-13 at the second media timeout. The Longhorns already have five offensive rebounds but even with those makes are still just 4 of 17.
Jones is a fascinating player in this tournament, a sixth-year senior who missed two seasons while battling leukemia. He’s trying to get Texas their first NCAA Tournament win since he’s been there. You have to go back to 2014 to see the last one, and it came next door to where we’re sitting now on a buzzer beater over Arizona State.
The two teams combined to start the game 0 for 9, but finally with 17:15 on the first-half clock, Keve Aluma of Virginia Tech banked home a jumper to give the Hokies the first points of the game. Storm Murphy, the Middleton native, garnered the assist.
Texas has since missed two more shots and remain on the bagel, now at the first media timeout already. It’s 4-0 after an Aluma dunk and 15:49 to play in the first half.
Orange is the color of the day with Texas taking on Virginia Tech. Hopefully this will be the first good game of the day … anywhere in the country. Been a slow start to Friday for those who like dram.
Virginia Tech point guard Storm Murphy hails from Middleton; I wrote about him yesterday. He gets a round of applause from the crowd during intros.
The third-seeded Boilermakers move on to the second round and will face Texas or Virginia Tech on Sunday. Yale finishes the year 19-12.
Azar Swain scores 18 points to cap a decorated Yale career.
Jaden Ivey had 22 points for Purdue. Zach Edey had 16 with nine boards, and Trevion Williams finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds. The usual suspects doing work.
Trevion Williams will head to the free-throw line after the last media timeout; he could still get a double-double with his current numbers at 6 points and nine rebounds. And to think, he’s the third most important player on the floor for Purdue.
This one is in the bank and earning interest. It’s 74-48, with 3:47 to go, and Purdue is well on its way to booking a Sunday date back in Milwaukee.
There’s a reason why Wisconsin’s two wins over Purdue this year are among the season’s biggest highlights.
The 37-point performance from Johnny Davis shortly after the New Year in West Lafayette but UW on the map, and then Chucky Hepburn’s banked-in 3-pointer March 1 to help UW win late and secure a Big Ten title was quite possibly the memory everyone will take from this season.
Purdue, up 68-44 with 7:42 left, is looking the part like a dominant team, and Badgers fans can only hope the other three-seed playing today will win as convincingly.
I’m afraid this is not going to be one of those magical upsets.
Jaden Ivey has 22 points, Zach Edey has 16 points and nine rebounds and 6-10 big man Trevion Williams threw a behind-the-back pass in transition that ultimately ended in a basket. The Boilers are having fun and preparing to move on.
Purdue may have this one in the bag already
Sasha Stefanovic hit a 3-pointer that gave Purdue a 17-point lead, and then after a steal, Jaden Ivey couldn’t quite connect on what would have been a rim-rattling alley-oop. But the Boilers got the offensive rebound, and then Stefanovic hit another.
It’s a 59-39 lead for Purdue with 15:46 to go in the game and it feels very much over. Yale had gotten it down to 11 early in this half, but Ivey (22 points) hit a deep jumper and driving layup to help his team reclaim control.
My colleague Ricardo Torres snapped a photo of the Deer District outside Fiserv Forum — not much doing, and why would there be? It’s unpleasant weather outside, there are plenty of bars nearby to house the scattered souls who are surely saving themselves for the Wisconsin game later this evening.
I don’t imagine it’ll look like this come 8 p.m.
The mismatch of Zach Edey vs. a small Yale team has materialized, and Purdue’s Jaden Ivey was doing it all early to stake Purdue to a solid lead at halftime. Ivey has 18 points and Edey 13 with seven rebounds.
Bulldogs are 3 of 11 from deep. They need more of those to fall to rally for an upset in the second half.
Azar Swain has 13 points on 6 of 11 shooting for Yale.
Edey is a menace on both ends, and Yale is struggling to find an answer. The big man is up to 13 points, 7 rebounds and two blocks, so even without Ivey continuing on his torrid scoring pace, the Boilers have just been steadily increasing their edge.
The lead is 46-31 with less than 30 seconds before halftime. It doesn’t appear the upset madness of yesterday has carried over to the first batch of games today, here or anywhere else.
It’s still early with 3:48 left in the first half, but it’s starting to feel like Yale needs to get a foothold soon if it wants to turn the upset. Purdue now leads, 37-26, and Jaden Ivey (16 points) is headed back to the free-throw line upon return to action.
Ivey took a shot to the face and was on the ground on a recent Yale possession, though he was able to stay in the game. But he was in some pain, holding his chin and mouth.
Two things you can appreciate on TV but get a new level of appreciation by seeing in person: The speed with which Ivey moves with the basketball and the simplicity with which a 7-4 guy like Zach Edey can convert a rebound into a basket. He’s got seven points.
August Mahoney gave the Yale cheering section behind me a half smile and a glance after he floated up a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and swished it through. It was later ruled a two, however. Zach Edey missed a short turnaround, and Yale’s been able to linger, down 27-20 at the third media timeout, with 7:36 to go in the first half.
Azar Swain has 11 points for the Bulldogs in 11 minutes and for all the hubbub about the major size difference, Yale has an 11-7 rebounding advantage thus far.
Yale briefly took a 16-15 lead, but Jaden Ivey and the Boilermakers bit back with a 10-0 run, and the Boilers now lead, 25-16. Ivey has 15 of his team’s points. Fiserv Forum looking reasonably full at this point with a couple section exceptions.
Much was made about the large size disparity between Purdue and a small Yale team, but there is a 6-10 player on Yale’s roster in Jake Lanford — it’s just that he’s only played in four games this year.
But in an attempt to try and slow down 7-4 Zach Edey, sure enough, Lanford checks in. He fouled Edey on his first possession and went back to the bench when Trevion Williams checked in, but that’s our first intriguing development of the day.
Purdue leads, 11-8, with 15:33 to go. Jaden Ivey just let out a howl on an and-one, and he will be heading to the line again for two shots after the first media timeout. He’s already got 8 points.
Zach Edey fights for a rebound to score the game’s first points. Despite a major size advantage, Purdue’s first two field goal attempts were from the outside. Yale tied it when the program’s all-time leader in 3-point shots, Azar Swain, answered with a jumper to make it 2-2.
Jaden Ivey, one of the Big Ten’s best players, hits a 3-pointer to give Purdue the lead right back.
Red all over Fiserv Forum seating bowl, as you might expect
The arena is half filled as we get close to the first game of the day, but as you might imagine, red is the prevailing color. Certainly Yale and Purdue have their sections, but one would imagine many of those Badgers fans will be here for all four games, including tonight’s closer — the Wisconsin-Colgate tilt that’s sure to turn Fiserv Forum into a madhouse.
The question now: Cheer for Big Ten cohort Purdue or the underdog, Yale?
Here’s what to know about today’s games
The first game pits Wisconsin’s Big Ten rival against a team playing in the NCAA Tournament one year after the Ivy League canceled its entire basketball season, leaving teams like Yale watching from afar.
The second game features a Virginia Tech team piloted by Middleton native Storm Murphy at point guard.
The third game also has Wisconsin connections, with Iowa State coached by Milwaukee natives T.J. Otzelberger and assistant J.R. Blount, plus Racine native Tyrese Hunter as Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Then comes the main event; will it match the Badgers’ wild 2014 experience playing in the Big Dance before a home state crowd?
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