Florida beats Wisconsin on Chiozza's 3-pointer at OT buzzer
NEW YORK - Chris Chiozza's leaning 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Florida an 84-83 overtime win over Wisconsin on Friday in the semifinals of the East Regional at Madison Square Garden.
Chiozza let the ball fly as he was floating just beyond the arc, sending the fourth-seeded Gators (27-8) into Sunday's regional final against seventh-seeded South Carolina in an all Southeastern Conference matchup.
KeVaughn Allen poured in 35 points, the most by a Florida player in an NCAA Tournament game. The sophomore guard also established his career high.
Nigel Hayes hit two free throws to provide eighth-seeded Wisconsin (27-10) with an 83-81 lead with four seconds to play before Chiozza's game-winniner Hayes led the Badgers with 22 points, but was 7 of 14 from the line. Ethan Happ added 21 points for Wisconsin.
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A layup from Allen had sliced the Badgers' lead to 80-77 at the 47-second mark and two free throws from Canyon Barry and a layup by Chiozza with 24 seconds in overtime left tied it for Florida at 81-81.
The Badgers had to rally late in the second half to force the game into overtime.
A 3-pointer from Bronson Koenig cut the Florida lead to 72-67 with 1:30 to go and a layup from Happ got the Badgers to within 72-69 with 44 seconds left.
Wisconsin's Zak Showalter's running 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2.9 second left in regulation time knotted it at 72-72. The Badgers scored eight unanswered points in the final 1:49 of regulation to tie it.
Earlier, Happ was forced to the bench after picking up his fourth foul with the Badgers trailing 58-53. Happ's return didn't slow the Gators down. Florida used a 10-3 blitz to expand its lead to 68-56 with 5:23 left, with Allen accounting for five points.
After being down 51-41, Wisconsin went on a 12-1 scoring spree to move ahead 53-52 with 10:21 remaining.
With the scored tied at 34-34 early in the second half, Florida outscored the Badgers 13-5 to move ahead 47-39 with 15:37 to play.
After a quiet first portion of the half, Allen came alive to score 12 of Florida's final 15 points in just over six minutes, helping the Gators to a 34-32 edge at the half.
The Badgers led 27-18 before Allen took over.
NOTES: Wisconsin and Florida both played at Madison Square Garden during the regular season. The Badgers defeated Rutgers 61-54 in overtime in January and the Gators lost 84-74 to Duke in the Jimmy V Classic in December. ... Wisconsin advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year. ... Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig rank first and second, respectively, among active players in in NCAA Tournament points scored. ... Florida has made 10 appearances in the Sweet 16. ... Florida coach Mike White's father is the athletic director at Duke.