MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WKBT/AP) - Ben Brust scored 17 points and Wisconsin devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half in a 75-35 victory Thursday before a friendly crowd in the NCAA tournament.
The second-seeded Badgers (27-7) recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of the15th-seeded Eagles (20-13), champions of the Patriot League.
After Wisconsin was ousted in the first round last year as a fifth seed, Brust made sure his senior season didn't end the same way. He attacked the glass for buckets on back-to-back possessions, ending with a 3-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to give Wisconsin a 23-20 lead.
The rout was on. The Badgers hit 57 percent in the second half.
John Schoof had 11 points for American.
The Badgers will play Oregon on Saturday in the West Regional.
"I can't wait for this game to get started," head coach Bo Ryan said in a post-game interview.
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