In first major NCAA upset, No. 8 Wisconsin tops reigning champs Villanova

Wisconsin Badgers guard Bronson Koenig (24) tries to drive against Villanova Wildcats forward Darryl Reynolds (45) in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York, on March 18, 2017.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA Today Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y.  -- Top-seeded Villanova was bounced from the NCAA Tournament by eighth-seeded Wisconsin, which overcame foul trouble for two of its stars in the second half Saturday to upset the defending champions 65-62 in the East region. 

Nigel Hayes scored 19 points, dropping a layup in traffic with 11.4 seconds left to put Wisconsin ahead 64-62, and Bronson Koenig added 17 for the tournament-toughened Badgers (27-9), who are going back to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year. They’ll play next week at New York’s Madison Square Garden after knocking off Villanova (32-4).

Josh Hart scored 19 to lead Villanova, but the senior guard was stripped by Wisconsin center Ethan Happ on a drive in the final seconds. Wisconsin’s Vitto Brown then split a pair of free throws with four seconds left, but Villanova couldn’t get off a final shot.