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James Madison pulls first 12-5 upset of March Madness by knocking off Wisconsin 72-61

What’s your March Madness bracket strategy?
What’s your March Madness bracket strategy? 02:56

Terrence Edwards Jr. scored 14 points and James Madison pulled off the first 12-5 upset of the NCAA Tournament by beating Wisconsin 72-61 on Friday night.

The 12th-seeded Dukes (32-3) will face fourth-seeded Duke on Sunday in the second round of the South Region in Brooklyn, where the JMU fans made themselves right at home.

"Told the team, I'm proud of them, but not surprised," James Madison coach Mark Byington said.

The Dukes, who had not been in the tournament since 2013, are into the second round for the first time since 1983 — bringing with them a 14-game winning streak that is the longest in the nation.

Max Klesmit kept fifth-seeded Wisconsin (22-14) within striking distance with 18 second-half points. The Badgers were a 5 1/2-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

The 12-5 upset almost doesn't feel like an upset because it has happened so frequently in the NCAA Tournament in recent years — though not last year. Counting JMU, seven 12 seeds have won first-round games in the last five tournaments.

Klesmit cut the JMU lead to six with 8:54 left, but Noah Freidel answered with a 3-pointer about a minute later for JMU to make it 55-46.

The Badgers never got closer than seven again, and the chants of "J-M-U" echoed through Barclays Center in Brooklyn as if it was the Atlantic Union Bank Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Edwards said his parents traveled up from Atlanta to see him play and booked the trip through Sunday.

"I tried to use the underdog strategy on Monday after the first practice and they weren't paying attention to it," Byington said.

James Madison announced itself in November with an opening victory at Michigan State that moved the Dukes in the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history. The Dukes just kept winning, though playing in the Sun Belt they fell out of spotlight and the rankings before moving back in on the strength of their long winning streak.

"We kind of heard things about our schedule not being tough and who we are," Byington said. "And we knew we belonged."

Only defending national champion and top-seeded UConn has won as many games this season as James Madison.

James Madison controlled the first half with its defense, going up by as much 17 before heading to halftime up 33-20.

The Dukes had the Badgers all out of sorts. JMU had 10 steals, forced 13 turnovers and held the Badgers to 26% percent shooting, with more than a few misses coming in traffic at the rim.

Klesmit gave the Badgers an offensive spark in the second half with four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes, but coach Mark Byington's Dukes were unfazed.

T.J. Bickerstaff had 12 points and nine rebounds and Julien Wooden added 12 points for the Dukes.

"We're not scared of the competition, because we've been through it all," Bickerstaff said.


The Dukes have never played Duke.


AP March Madness bracket: and coverage:

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