On This Date in Badgers' History: Wisconsin Tames Kentucky in 2015 Final Four

Jake Kocorowski

It is one of those iconic games that many Wisconsin fans can tell you exactly where they were, what they ate, and the precise emotions they felt as the final seconds ran off the clock.

On this day five years' ago inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, a Bo Ryan-led Badgers team tamed and defeated the previously undefeated Kentucky Wildcats during the 2015 Final Four in a 71-64 victory.

Four Badgers scored in double figures on the evening, led by Frank Kaminsky's 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. The eventual Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy winner made five of six free throw attempts and pulled down 11 rebounds in 37 minutes of play.

In fact, all five starters for Wisconsin played over 30 minutes in the national semifinal contest. Junior forward Sam Dekker contributed 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a key three-pointer with 1:42 remaining in the second half to give Wisconsin a 63-60 lead. On the ensuing Kentucky possession after that triple, the in-state product drew a charge on Trey Lyles.

Rewatching the game and looking at the box score, Kentucky did not score between the 6:36 and :56 second marks of the second half. That allowed Wisconsin to retake the lead on a 8-0 run to counter a previous 16-4 UK spree. 

Dekker contributed six points during that particular UW run.

Wisconsin shot 47.9% from the field for the game, including hitting 10 of 20 shots in the second half. Kentucky connected on 48.1% of their field goal attempts, but the Badgers tamed the Wildcats' second half shooting to 37.9%.

Forward Karl-Anthony Towns led the way for John Calipari's program with 16 points, making seven of 11 attempts and grabbing nine rebounds. The Harrison brothers, Aaron and Andrew, combined to score 25 points on the evening. 

However, those were the only Wildcats to go over double digits in scoring on the night. Though pulling down five boards against UW, forward Willie Cauley-Stein finished with two points on 1-of-4 shooting in about 33 minutes of play.

For Wisconsin, Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig each brought in 12 points on the evening. The sophomores combined to hit seven of 21 field goal attempts, but they also made seven of eight from the charity stripe.

Perhaps as memorable as the victory, an impromptu postgame celebration within Wisconsin's team hotel ensued. Fans clogged the lobby to greet and cheer the Badgers.

Later on Saturday, AllBadgers.com will post a Q&A with former UW forward Vitto Brown on what he remembers from that win. However, what do you remember from that victory over Kentucky? Tell us in the comments field below.

Comments

Basketball

FEATURED
COMMUNITY