Badgers blow out Tar Heels to advance

The No. 9 seed Wisconsin Badgers made a statement on Friday night while most of the rest of the Big Ten faltered in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Led by the blistering-hot shooting hand of Brad Davison’s game-high 29 points, Wisconsin routed No. 8 seed North Carolina 85-62 in a wire-to-wire win.

Davison shot 10-15, including making five of his seven three-point attempts. Teammate D’Mitrik Trice chipped in 21 points on 8-15 shooting (3-7 from the three-point line); the two combined to pull down 11 of the Badgers 37 rebounds.

Shooting has been Wisconsin’s biggest problem down the stretch of the season, but that was not a problem this time at Mackey Arena. UW shot 50.8% overall for the game (31-61), including a blistering 48.1% (13-27) from beyond the arc.

“I thought things were trending the right way if they would just stick to it and stay the course," UW coach Greg Gard said after the game. “I’m happy that they did and proud of them for how they continued to battle through a strenuous schedule to get to this point.”

Wisconsin advances to play Baylor Sunday in the second round of the tournament. As of this publication posting time, the time of the start of the game has not been announced.