Davidson Stuns Badgers, Officially America’s Team

Stephen Curry carried Davidson through the first weekend with back to back performances for the annals, dropping 40 on Gonzaga then carrying Wildcats back from a 17-point deficit with 25 second half points to beat Georgetown. A one-man show, matched against one of the top defensive teams in the nation, surely Wisconsin would find a way to slow down Curry and end the Wildcats run. Of all the Sweet 16 teams, Davidson was the least likely to win, even less so than the pair of 12-seeds, Villanova and Western Kentucky. Simple, stop Curry and Davidson loses.

Well, maybe Curry is just that good. Another 33 point effort on 11-22 shooting, including 6 from behind the arc, another opponent in the dust. Curry, generously listed at 6’2″ 185 lbs., does not miss when he gets an inch of daylight. Wisconsin stuck Michael Flowers, the best defender in the Big 10, on Curry to no avail. Early on Davidson got their role players involved, particularly Lovedale and Jason Richards. Wisconsin failed to control the tempo, allowing Davidson to dictate the game. Even though the game was tied at the half, 36-36 was much a much higher score than Wisconsin wants to play at. Davidson and Curry came out in the second half and blew the doors open, delivering a knock out blow when Curry nailed back to back shots, the second an open trey off transition, after a defender flew by him.

Surprisingly, Davidson defended better than Wisconsin. The Badgers got out of their game as the deficit built, not getting ball inside, forcing three pointers, and allowing the Wildcats to push the tempo. Davidson outhustled the Badgers, forcing 11 turnovers, holding them to 37% shooting for only 56 points. More surprising than the Wildcats win, was how they won, by 17 going away, possibly the surprise of the tournament thus far, slightly edging a certain second half comeback against another solid defensive team from Georgetown.

A great story out of North Carolina, the small school from the Big South rented a bus to bring students all the way to Detroit for today’s game. Those students, joined by LeBron James in the student section, received a treat watching Curry. No matter where tiny Davidson ends this year’s run – no 10 seed has advanced to the Final Four and only one other, Kent State in 2002, has reached the Elite Eight – Curry’s tournament run will go down in NCAA lore. He seems to hit every time he gets an open look, and half the time he has a guy in his face, then throws in some highlight reel drives to the basket for extra measure. At one point in the second half, Curry had outscored Wisconsin by himself. If they hadn’t already, America will adopt Davidson come Sunday, as they strive to repeat George Mason’s miracle run. Be sure to tune in for the show.

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One Response

  1. Great Article, Good Read.

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