A last-second shot resulted in Bronson Koenig and No. 8 Wisconsin falling in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 Friday night. The Florida Gator’s Chris Chiozza hit a running, one-handed three-pointer as overtime expired to defeat the Badgers 84-83.
Koenig (Ho-Chunk) helped his team rally from an 8-point deficit with 1 minute and 44 seconds in regulation. His 13 points helped the Badgers to prolong the game versus the No. 4 seed. The Badgers led by as many as five points in overtime, but Koenig was hobbled by a leg injury.
Wisconsin’s (27-10) four seniors, Koenig, Nigel Hayes, Vitto Brown and Zak Showalter tallied a 13-3 record in the NCAA tournament over their careers, including a national championship appearance in 2015.
“I can’t thank those four seniors enough for what they’ve done for this program and this University. #OnWisconsin,” Badger coach Greg Gard said following the game.
What’s Next For Koenig?
Koenig dreams of playing in the NBA. A next step toward that goal will be the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Virginia from April 12-15.
He will be among 64 participants to play in front of NBA scouts.
Last summer, Bronson Koenig was in Los Angeles practicing and working out twice a day in order to prepare himself for his senior year.
“He spent his entire summer working toward turning that goal [of making the NBA] into a realistic possibility,” Tony Cartagena, of ESPN Wisconsin, wrote. “He flew West, hired two different trainers and pushed his body to peak limits on a daily basis.”
The 6’3” point guard averaged 14.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2 assists per game this season. His performance put him on the Naismith Player of the Year watch list.
Bronson Koenig earned the nickname “Klutch Koenig” among his teammates for his knack for hitting big shots in crunch time. Last season, he hit a buzzer-beating 3-point shot against Xavier to propel Wisconsin to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.
Cary Rosenbaum (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a correspondent for Indian Country Media Network. Follow him on Twitter: @caryrosenbaum