Wisconsin badgers Baylor, coasts into West Region final
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Bo Ryan may have his most offensively gifted team yet.
The defense is still there too.
Wisconsin's crisp ball movement and passing picked apart Baylor's zone and the Badgers' third Sweet 16 appearance in the last four years finally resulted in a win.
Frank Kaminsky had 19 points and six blocks and Wisconsin routed Baylor, 69-52, in a West Region semifinal from Anaheim.
Second-seeded Wisconsin (29-7), which hadn't reached a Regional Final since 2005, hasn't made the Final Four during Ryan's tenure since he took over the program in 2001.
It'll get a shot Saturday against the winner of the Arizona/San Diego State game later in Anaheim.
Ben Brust tallied 14 points and six rebounds, while Nigel Hayes added 10 points and six boards for the Badgers, who tallied 18 assists on 26 made field goals (26-of-50). They registered 36 points in the paint against the lengthy Baylor zone.
Sixth-seeded Baylor (26-12) came in winning 12 of its last 14 games following a midseason swoon, but never found its rhythm against Wisconsin's scrappy defense.
The Bears shot just 31.6 percent (18-of-57) from the floor after a 63.8 percent performance against third-seeded Creighton in the third round. They were just 2-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Cory Jefferson had 15 points and seven rebounds in defeat. His layup staked the Bears to a short-lived 2-0 lead, their only one of the game, before Kaminsky netted six points during an 8-0 Badgers' spurt. A 15-3 run minutes later further extended Wisconsin's advantage.
Brust and Sam Dekker knocked down 3-pointers to begin the surge, while back- to-back layups by Kaminsky and Hayes capped it and gave Wisconsin a 25-11 cushion late in the first half. The Badgers recorded assists on each of the six baskets converted during the burst.
Wisconsin took a 29-16 advantage into the break.
Baylor shot just 20.8 percent (5-of-24) in the opening 20 minutes. Things didn't go much better in the second half.
Dekker's dunk and a Kaminsky 3-point play increased the Wisconsin lead to 34-16, and the Bears never cut the deficit below 15 the rest of the way.
The Badgers led by as many as 21 down the stretch.
Seeded fourth in the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Badgers fell to No. 8 seed Butler and top-seeded Syracuse, respectively, in the Sweet 16 ... Kaminsky was 8-of-11 from the field ... Wisconsin has won 12 of its last 1 games.
03/27 22:26:13 ET