Late Heroics Fuel Wisconsin’s Upset Win vs. Purdue in Big Ten Semifinal

Max Klesmit’s game-winning bucket in overtime helped Wisconsin withstand top-seeded Purdue 76–75 on Saturday at Target Center to send the Badgers to the Big Ten championship game.

Chucky Hepburn starred for Wisconsin, leading the team with 22 points and scoring two baskets in the final eight seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime. The junior also forced a key offensive foul down one point late in overtime, getting the Badgers the ball back with a chance to win the game.

However, it was Klesmit who rolled in the final basket to put Wisconsin on top with less than five seconds left in overtime.

Zach Edey, the back-to-back Big Ten Player of the Year and likely back-to-back National Player of the Year, dominated the game with 28 points and 11 rebounds. However, no other Boilermaker scored double-digit points, while Wisconsin had four players with at least 11 points in the game.

Wisconsin has had an up-and-down season, starting the season 16–4 but then losing eight of their last 11 games in the regular season. The Badgers now have won three in a row and are looking for their first Big Ten tournament championship since 2015.

Purdue entered this game as not only the top seed in the Big Ten tournament, but also the No. 1 team in the country and front-runner to become the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The loss means the Boilermakers will not defend their Big Ten championship from last year, but the team hopes this is the year it makes it back to the Final Four.

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