Badgers drop close one to Wolverines, lose 87-79 on Sunday

The Badgers travelled to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines on Sunday, losing in overtime by a score of 87-79. The defeat could prove to keep Wisconsin out of the National Tournament.

Without going into a terrible amount of detail, this is a game the Badgers should have been able to pull out. If not for a circus shot from Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson at the buzzer, Wisconsin would have won 68-65 in regulation but that’s not what happened. With one second on the clock, Michigan inbounded the ball Dickinson nailed the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer before the Wolverines took home the win in OT.

In what was as close to a much-win situation as you can get for Wisconsin, the team simply just fell short. Freshman guard Connor Essegian led the way with 24 points (10-21 FG, 1-8 3Pt, 3-3 FT) for the Badgers and he has now set the all-time freshman record for the program with 61 three-pointers this season.

Max Klesmit (19), Steven Crowl (14) and Tyler Wahl (10) were also able to reach double-digit scoring outputs.

In the end, the biggest question following the contest was head coach Greg Gard’s decision to not foul on Michigan’s final possession of regulation when the Badgers were up three, instead allowing the Wolverines to get off a final shot, which turned out to be a game-tying launch from Dickinson.

With only two games left this season, Wisconsin will likely have to go 2-0 to have a chance to reach March Madness. This means they will have to take down Purdue (24-5) at home at 8 PM on Thursday.

Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire