Villanova follows up shaky outing with experienced Wisconsin
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — No. 1 seed Villanova (32-3) vs. No. 8 seed Wisconsin (26-9).
Second round, East region, Buffalo, New York, 2:40 p.m. EDT.
BOTTOM LINE: The top-seeded Wildcats showed some surprising jitters in their opening-round win over No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s, who showed zero fear and took it to the defending national champions in the first half. Villanova took control early in the second half and rolled to a 20-point win that looked lopsided on the scoreboard but was much closer. The Big East champions will need to play a full 40 minutes to move past the experienced eighth-seeded Badgers, who have 12 NCAA wins over the past four years.
DONTE’S INFERNO: Villanova redshirt freshman guard Donte DiVincenzo, who missed last season’s title run with a broken right foot, has become invaluable for the Wildcats. He came off the bench on Thursday night and provided a huge lift by scoring a team-leading 21 points with a career-best 13 rebounds. DiVincenzo did miss two breakaway dunks, but that was the only time he looked unsure in his first NCAA Tournament game. DiVincenzo’s minutes have been continually rising as he’s averaging 29.3 minutes since Feb. 11.
COLD HAND: Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, who made a now famous 3-pointer at the buzzer in last year’s title game to beat North Carolina, is in a deep shooting funk. The senior went 2 for 13, missed all six 3-pointers and is 9 for 46 behind the arc in his last seven games.
SENIOR CITIZENS: Wisconsin seniors Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes will be playing in their 16th NCAA Tournament games on Saturday. Hayes and Koenig rank first and second, respectively, in scoring among active players in the tournament. Down the stretch in the opening round, it was Koenig, who made a school record eight 3-pointers against Virginia Tech, and Hayes who made the difference. Hayes finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
ONE AND DONE: This will only be the second meeting between Villanova and Wisconsin, who squared off in the 1996 Maui Invitational. The third-ranked Wildcats beat the Badgers 66-58.
For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25