Thursday, February 14, 2008
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Butch Lifts No. 15 Wisconsin With Late 3

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[February 14, 2008]  BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Brian Butch banked in a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left, the last of Wisconsin's 11 3s, and the 15th-ranked Badgers held on for a 68-66 victory over No. 13 Indiana on Wednesday night.

Butch finished with 13 points and four rebounds in a game the Badgers guards dominated. Jason Bohannon scored 18 points, all on 3-pointers, and Michael Flowers added 15, hitting three more 3s for Wisconsin (20-4, 10-2 Big Ten).

Indiana (20-4, 9-2) was led by Eric Gordon with 23 points and D.J. White with 17 points and eight rebounds, but it wasn't quite enough on a night basketball was overshadowed by coach Kelvin Sampson's alleged off-the-court transgressions.

Just hours before tipoff, Sampson was accused by the NCAA of committing five "major" rules violations. It created a surreal atmosphere at a university where basketball is king, and some fans couldn't wait to voice their opinions.

When Sampson was introduced, there were more boos than cheers and two middle-aged fans seated across from the Hoosiers coach wore white sweat shirts that had "Bring Back Bobby" scribbled in black marker, a reference to former Indiana coach Bob Knight.

Sampson also had some fans in the crowd.

A few students seated behind the south basket wore light blue T-shirts with red ties -- Sampson's trademark outfit. And two students in the same area, but one section apart, held up homemade signs that read "Sampson can call me anytime."

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But the distraction appeared to affect the Hoosiers' perimeter defense in the first half, when Wisconsin hit 8-of-15 from beyond the arc.

Initially, it looked like Indiana, which upset then-No. 2 Wisconsin in last season's matchup in Bloomington, would have the upper hand again as they built a 23-14 with 7:10 to go in the half.

But the Badgers got back in the game with 3-pointers. Flowers and Bohannon connected on three straight 3s to make it 25-23 and they only trailed 37-36 at halftime.

Indiana righted itself early in the second half, building a 46-40 lead before Wisconsin went on a 9-2 run to take a 49-48 lead with 11:59 to go.

From there, neither team could pull away and during the final 96 seconds, the teams traded the lead seven times, including Butch's surprise bank shot.

Indiana had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Jamarcus Ellis' 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim.

[Associated Press; By MICHAEL MAROT]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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