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Monday, June 05, 2023
Ben Brust

Junior guard Ben Brust is mobbed by his teammates after his buzzer-beating 3-pointer forced overtime against Michigan. The Wolverines would go on to play in the NCAA title game.

Top moments of the spring semester

Ben Brust hits half-court shot to force overtime against Michigan

In a season full of instant classics, Madison was fortunate to play host to arguably the best of the bunch Feb. 9 as junior guard Ben Brust nailed a 3-point shot from half court as time expired, sending the game into overtime and allowing the Badgers to defeat would-be No. 1 Michigan, 65-62.

Michigan had a one-point lead at the half, and after a back-and-forth first 10 minutes of the second half, it appeared Michigan would coast to a tight victory, leading by as much as six in the final seven minutes and holding a three-point lead as the game entered its final minute.

That is precisely when the drama began. UW redshirt senior forward Jared Berggren drove straight to the basket, dunking it home over national player of the year, Michigan sophomore guard Trey Burke, and tying the game on the ensuing free throw. Despite having three fouls to give, Wisconsin allowed Michigan junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to get off a deep shot that fell with just 2.3 seconds left to apparently give the Wolverines a memorable victory.

The Badgers, however, were not done yet. Senior forward Mike Bruesewitz hit Brust in stride on the in-bounds pass, preventing Michigan freshman guard Caris LeVert from giving one of Michigan’s two fouls and allowing Brust to get off a shot that never left its intended line, falling in and setting off an earthquake of pandemonium inside the sold-out Kohl Center.

Brust wasn’t done putting his mark on this instant classic. After a hard-fought first few minutes of overtime, Wisconsin took over out of bounds with the game tied at 62 and just over one minute left. Guarded once again by LeVert, Brust noticed the freshman was giving him a bit too much space and promptly pulled up to nail another triple that gave UW a 65-62 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

—Max Sternberg

Meghan McIntosh records two no-hitters

Senior pitcher Meghan McIntosh capped off her final season as a Badger by breaking into the the UW record books. McIntosh threw her second no-hitter at Cowles Stadium in Minnesota, a feat that had previously occurred only once in school history.

The first time a Wisconsin pitcher has recorded multiple no-hitters was when Andrea Kirchberg accomplished the feat in 2001. McIntosh recorded eight strikeouts and five walks in the team’s only victory of the series.

This was also the first time in school history a no-hitter has been thrown against a Big Ten opponent, let alone against a competitive Gopher squad. McIntosh’s first no-hitter occurred earlier this year against Eastern Kentucky in the Salsaluki Invitational, where she had eight strikeouts and only three walks. Despite the series loss in Minneapolis, McIntosh has undoubtedly left her mark at Cowles Stadium.

So far this season, she has a 2.15 ERA and holds a 12-6 record. Even though she will not be back next season, the lefty  has left her mark on the growing UW program, and she will be a key contributor in

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its upcoming playoff run.

—Blake Duffin

Drew teDuits wins NCAA championship in 200 backstroke

Sophomore Drew teDuits arguably had the most impressive performance of any UW athlete this spring with his 200-yard backstroke victory at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Fitchburg, Wis., native broke a 54-year drought, becoming the first Badger men’s swimmer to win a national title since 1959, when Fred Westphal placed first in the 50-yard freestyle race.

The 1:38.27 posting was good enough for third-best in NCAA history and broke the previous UW school record, which teDuits set earlier in the season. Stanford sophomore David Nolan was teDuits’ closest challenger, finishing with a time of 1:39.31.

TeDuits was appropriately named a NCAA first-team All-American selection in the 200-yard backstroke. He also earned a spot on the 100-yard backstroke All-American second team.

Wisconsin recorded its fifth-best team finish at the NCAA Championships, finishing 13th out of 40 teams.

—Vince Huth

Wisconsin knocks off No. 7 Penn State at home

In a season filled with injuries, the short-handed Badger roster did not back down against the Big Ten elite. The signature win for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team was at home against then-No. 7 Penn State, 63-61, Jan. 31 at the Kohl Center.

As the Badgers’ season scoring leader (15.9 points per game), junior guard Morgan Paige had a career-best 33 against the Nittany Lions. In the last six minutes, two buckets from sophomore forward Jacki Gulczynski and one of Paige’s five 3-point shots helped put Wisconsin in position to win. However, the game-winning shot was left to senior guard Tiera Stephen, who scored on a putback basket with five seconds left.

“Wow. That was awesome,” said head coach Bobbie Kelsey in a rather simple, yet accurate fashion. Penn State had thumped the Badgers 84-40 at home just two weeks earlier and came into Madison on an 11-game winning streak.

The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten regular season championship, made it to the semi-finals of the Big Ten tournament and fell to LSU as a No. 3 seed in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

—Jonah Beleckis

Badgers rip through WCHA to win conference tournament

In November, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team was 1-7-2, missing two of its top scorers and struggling to close out games.

The Badgers rolled through the rest of their final year in the WCHA before joining the Big Ten hockey conference in its inaugural season next year, putting together a 21-5-5 run over the next 31 games.

Four months after their less-than-satisfactory start, the Badgers were holding the Broadmoor trophy, given to the champion of the WCHA’s Final Five conference tournament.

Every season has a story, according to head coach Mike Eaves. ‘Comeback’ might be a good word to sum this one up.

Wisconsin opened up Final Five play at the Xcel Energy Center with a resounding 7-2 victory over Minnesota State. Donning a new motto—‘Keep rolling’—the Badgers continued the trend against St. Cloud State, sending the Huskies home after a 4-1 win.

The Badgers came out on top in a high-energy championship game against Colorado College, holding a one-goal lead through the third period behind the stellar play of sophomore goaltender Joel Rumpel.

Freshman forward Nic Kerdiles, who missed the first 10 games of the season due to an NCAA eligibility violation, was named the tournament MVP after accumulating three goals and three assists in the Final Five.

Junior forward Tyler Barnes scored four goals over the course of the weekend, putting a cherry on top of a 14-goal tournament for the Badgers.

With the win, Wisconsin received an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where they played, and lost, to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

—Brett Bachman

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