Jordan Taylor and Wisconsin found themselves in a huge hole against previously unbeaten Ohio State, but the Badgers only needed about 13 minutes to shatter the Buckeyes’ chase of an undefeated season.
“We knew we had a run in us,” Taylor said.
Taylor scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half, rallying No. 13 Wisconsin from a 15-point deficit to beat No. 1 Ohio State, 71-67, on Saturday in Madison, Wis., and keep Division I without a perfect team since Indiana in 1975-76.
Taylor was the catalyst, sparking a 15-0 run with eight straight points, then keeping the Badgers calm down the stretch with his poise.
“(He) made all the difference in the world. He came down and hit those back-to-back 3s and got us right back into it, and from there you could just see we had some momentum,” Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer said.
Wisconsin (19-5, 9-3 Big Ten) topped a No. 1 opponent for the first time since 1962, when it was also Ohio State. The Badgers joined Florida as the only programs to knock off the same No. 1 school in both football and men’s basketball in the same academic year. The Gators also beat Ohio State in both sports in 2006-07.
Fans at the sold-out Kohl Center stormed the court, just like when they rushed the field at Camp Randall Stadium following the Badgers’ 31-18 win there over then-No. 1 Ohio State on Oct. 16.
William Buford scored 21 points for Ohio State (24-1, 11-1). Freshman Jared Sullinger made an easy layup to push the Buckeyes’ lead to 47-32 with 13:21 left, setting the stage for the comeback.
Wisconsin was sharp from beyond the arc, hitting 12 of 24 3-pointers.
“We got a good, old piece of humble pie, so we’re back hungry,” said Sullinger, who scored 19 points and had 12 rebounds.
No. 7 BYU 72, Utah 59: Jimmer Fredette, the nation’s leading scorer, had 17 points in the final 9 minutes and 12 in a row to help the Cougars (24-2, 10-1 Mountain West Conference) take control of the Utes (10-15, 3-8).
At No. 16 Louisville 73, No. 12 Syracuse 69: Kyle Kuric scored 23 points, Preston Knowles added 22, and Peyton Siva dropped in clinching free throws in the final moments to lead the Cardinals (19-6, 8-4 Big East) past the Orange (20-6, 7-6).
At No. 23 Vanderbilt 81, No. 18 Kentucky 77: Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins scored a career-high 32 points, including six 3-pointers, as the Commodores (18-6, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) dropped the Wildcats (17-7, 5-5) to the bottom of the East Division.
Saint Martin’s 89, Western Oregon 68: The Saints (12-12, 5-9 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) got 23 points and 14 rebounds from Blake Poole, and 18 points and seven rebounds from Roger O’Neill in beating the Wolves (12-12, 7-7). SMU, which shot 53.4 percent (31 of 58) from the field, outrebounded Western, 40-25.
Concordia 88, Evergreen State 76: Josh Troyer led five Geoducks players in double figures, but it wasn’t enough to counter Jourdan Sweeney’s 28 points and 11 rebounds as Evergreen (8-18, 5-11 Cascade Collegiate Conference) lost to the Cavaliers (8-18, 5-11)
Gonzaga 63, at Pepperdine 44: Elias Harris had 15 points and 11 rebounds as the Zags (17-9, 7-3 West Coast) defeated the Waves (11-17, 5-6). Gonzaga held Pepperdine to 27.4 percent shooting.