Everyone with Wisconsin in the Final Four of their brackets must be feeling pretty good right about now.
The No. 2 seed Badgers (27-7) opened up play in the West Region on Thursday afternoon, thumping the No. 15 seed American 75-35 in Milwaukee.
With the win, Wisconsin advances to face either No. 7 seed Oregon or No. 10 seed BYU on Saturday.
American (20-13) actually started out the game well. It’s slow deliberate style of play on the offensive end, combined with strong defense, seemed to catch the Badgers a bit by surprise.
The Eagles took a 19-13 lead early in the first half, and seemed on the way to—if nothing else—making a game of it, with Wisconsin struggling to find their scoring touch.
But the wheels came off in a hurry, and they came off in spectacular fashion.
Wisconsin outscored American 62-16 from that point, taking a 10-point lead into halftime and quickly breaking the game open in the second half.
The Eagles only managed 13 points in the second half, as the Badgers upped their defensive pressure and forced them to take bad shots. It certainly didn’t help that American turned the ball over 17 times.
The Badgers were led by a balanced offensive attack that saw three players reach double digits.
Traevon Jackson led Wisconsin with 18 points. Ben Brust added 17—including 12 from behind the arc—and Sam Dekker had 11 before tweaking his right leg a bit in the second half.
The Eagles were led by John Schoof and Tony Wroblicky with 11 points.