John Jenkins rose up with a chance to send Vanderbilt to their first Sweet Sixteen since 2007. He missed, but what happened afterwards will live on in Commodore lore for years to come.
Festus Ezeli had position on the interior for the offensive rebound, but he appeared to get pushed in the tail end of a game that had been called tightly all night. The refs whistles went silent, and Ryan Evans went on to sink one of the two free throws that accompanied his defensive rebound and foul. It was enough as the Badgers held on to advance to the round of 16 for the second time in as many years Saturday.
Vanderbilt bowed up late in the game to stop the Badgers, but Jordan Taylor refused to lose, nailing a huge three-pointer as the shot clock hit zero to give Wisconsin the edge they needed to put Vandy on the ropes. Vandy had one last shot to send the game to overtime when they trailed by three with 1.9 seconds to play, but Jared Berggren swatted Lance Goulbourne's inbound attempt to end the 'Dores season on St. Patrick's Day.
Festus Ezeli put together a memorable performance in his final game as a Commodore. The senior center had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and a block to keep the Badgers on their toes all game. John Jenkins had just 13 points on 3-13 shooting in the loss.
With the win, Wisconsin will face #1 seed Syracuse next week. Vanderbilt will head back to Nashville to regroup after losing five seniors heading into next season. While the Commodores will have to deal with the pain of this loss for months to come, they can take solace in raising the team's first SEC Tournament Championship banner to the rafters at Memorial Gym for the first time in 61 years.
Now, the rest of us will go drink all the bourbon in the lower 48. Excuse us.