Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - April 3, 2014

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40 // VARSITY April 3, 2014 A NAHEIM, Calif. ― It was just one rebound, one of his team's 38, one of his 431 career rebounds. But none may have been time- lier than the rebound that Wisconsin's Josh Gas- ser took away from Arizona's 7-foot Kaleb Tarc- zewski and kept away from Nick Johnson during Saturday's Elite Eight tug-of-war in Anaheim. The Badgers were clinging to a 61-59 lead in the West Regional final when Johnson missed a layup with a little more than two minutes left in overtime. Protecting the defensive glass has always been a high priority, never more so than against the Wildcats, the top rebounding team in the Pac-12. "I actually don't know how I came out with that," Gasser admitted. "I was just trying to bat it out of his hands (Tarczewski) and it somehow wound up in my hands and I just wasn't going to let go." Gasser was fouled by Johnson. While covering up the ball like a fullback in a short-yardage situ- ation, Gasser swung his elbows and he appeared to make contact with Johnson, which prompted the refereeing crew of Bryan Kersey, Tony Greene and Mike Eades to review the play on the TV monitor. It would be the precursor of things to come. "I was kind of nervous that they were going to call me for a flagrant; it's two shots and the ball, and that's a huge swing in close game like that," Gasser said. "I didn't think I hit him. But I wasn't quite sure. I even asked Nick on the court if I did, and he said that I didn't. That made me feel better about it." Upon further review, the officials didn't see enough to call a flagrant. Gasser then made the front end of a bonus before missing the second free throw. Still, it gave the Badgers some much needed wiggle room; a 3-point lead, 62-59, that they would not relinquish to Arizona. WISCONSIN RIDING EMOTIONAL WAVE INTO FINAL FOUR Badgers playing for Bo, for Butch and, especially, each other BY MIKE LUCAS • UWBADGERS,COM

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