With 28 seconds remaining in the second half of their Sweet 16 game against Notre Dame, the Wisconsin Badgers had a 3-point lead and the ball. A berth in the Elite Eight was theirs for the taking.
Instead, it was the Fighting Irish who did the taking, as Demetrius Jackson came up with a huge steal after Notre Dame swarmed Nigel Hayes:
There is indeed quite a bit of contact on that play, which left Twitter (and the rest of us) wondering whether there was a foul. Your mileage may vary on that one, depending on your rooting interests. And to add insult to injury, Wisconsin had one final chance to force OT, but once again, Jackson swiped the ball on a questionable non-call:
But non-calls happen; we’re not here to take away from the Fighting Irish’s celebration. And celebrate they did in the postgame interview:
It’s the first time Notre Dame has made consecutive Elite Eights in almost 40 years. They last did it in the 1978 and 1979 tournaments:
Still, you have to feel bad for the Badgers fans, who saw a chance at another Final Four slip away in the final minute. Even J.J. Watt, who attended Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010, had his heart broken by the loss: