NCAA Tournament: Wisconsin Powers Past Belmont, 72-58

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March Madness Scores: Wisconsin Bombs Belmont 72-58, Moves To Next Round

One of March Madness' trendiest upset picks, Belmont wasn't able to keep up with Wisconsin for 40 minutes. Well, not really even for 30 or so. Wisconsin buried 12 three-pointers to walk away with a 72-58 victory, awaiting tonight's Kansas State-Utah State game to see who they'll get in round two ("three").

Jordan Taylor hit five of those three-pointers, combining with Jon Leuer to score 43 points on the evening. Belmont was led by Mick Hedgepeth's 17. The Badgers overcame a turnover-y first half, taking better care of the ball late as they adjusted to Belmont's active offense and defense.

Wisconsin was able to force its tempo for much of the game, especially while grabbing a string of offensive rebounds way back when the game was still close.

For more on this game, Wisconsin fans should visit Bucky's 5th Quarter, and Belmont fans should visit Mid Major Madness.

Here is an updated look at the Southeast Region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket.

No. 1 Pittsburgh at No. 16 UNC-Asheville, March 17, 3:10 p.m., truTV

No. 8 Butler def. No. 9 Old Dominion, 60-58; will face winner of Pittsburgh-UNC-Asheville

No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 12 Utah State, March 17, 9:57 p.m., truTV

No. 4 Wisconsin defeats No. 13 Belmont, 72-58; will face winner of Kansas State-Utah State

No. 6 St. John's vs. No. 11 Gonzaga, March 17, 9:45 p.m., CBS

No. 3 BYU defeats No. 14 Wofford, 74-66; will face winner of St. John's-Gonzaga

No. 7 UCLA vs. No. 10 Michigan State, March 17, 9:20 p.m., TBS

No. 2 Florida defeats No. 15 UC-Santa Barbara, 79-51; will face winner of UCLA-Michigan State

March Madness resources: Printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket ... Full 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule.

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NCAA Tournament Update: Wisconsin Runs Away From Belmont At End Of First

 

NCAA Tournament upstart Belmont had Wisconsin sweating another day-one upset early in the first half, leading early and forcing a tie with about four minutes to go. But the Badgers went on an 11-2 run to take a satisfactory 34-27 score into the break. 

Belmont's aggressive pace has been an interesting matchup for Wisconsin's more, well, Big Ten style. The Bruins have forced more turnovers than Wisconsin would like, but haven't been able to connect on enough shots to make them count.

Jordan Taylor leads with 14 points, three of those coming from downtown. The Badgers have hit seven of their 14 three-point attempts, a better shooting percentage than Belmont's mustered from the floor in general. Mick Hedgepeth leads Belmont with 11.

For more on this game, Wisconsin fans should visit Bucky's 5th Quarter, and Belmont fans should visit Mid Major Madness.

March Madness resources: Printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket ... Full 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule.

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NCAA Bracket Preview, Predictions: No. 4 Wisconsin Vs. No. 13 Belmont

If you're looking for a 13th seed to upset a fourth seed in your 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket, Belmont just may be your team. Consider the Bruins, who will face Wisconsin in the Southeast regional, are the No. 18 team in the country, according to Ken Pomeroy's rankings. Yet there was Belmont on Selection Sunday, receiving a lower-half seed, paired against the Badgers in the first round. The Bruins resume may not be impressive, or littered with top-50 teams, but Belmont has taken care of business just about all season. On Thursday at 7:27 p.m., the Bruins and Badgers take the floor in Tucson in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Wisconsin finished third in the Big Ten this season, behind Ohio State and Purdue. In the Big Ten Tournament, though, the Badgers and Penn State played one of the uglier games of basketball in recent memory as the Nittany Lions knocked Wisconsin out, 36-33. That's not a halftime score, it's a product of two slow-down teams playing a 44 possession game.

Belmont won the Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament title, losing only once to a conference foe -- Lipscomb in January.  Belmont lost just four times on the year, dropping two non-conference games to Tennessee and one to Vanderbilt along with the aforementioned Lipscomb game. All told, the Bruins have done exactly as they should have in 2011: Take care of business and win the games they need.

Star Watch: There's two for the Bruins: Ian Clark and Mick Hedgepeth. Both post offensive efficiencies above 115, with Clark the best shooter on the team, by eFG percentage. For Wisconsin, keep an eye on Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor. Leuer uses the most possessions on the team while Taylor has a ridiculous 130.3 offensive efficiency, ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Prediction: I get the feeling this game will be close; Wisconsin's pace and style almost guarantee it. It's a toss-up, so I'll go with the upset and take Belmont, 60-59. Don't hold me to it.

More Reading: For more on the Badgers, check out SB Nation's Wisconsin blog, Bucky's 5th Quarter. For more on the Bruins, check out our Belmont NCAA Tournament primer.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East Region, West Region, Southeast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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