Bobby Pettiford Jr.’s reverse layup as time expired in overtime lifted No. 3 Kansas to a dramatic 69-68 win over Wisconsin on Thursday in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Pettiford’s lone shot of the game came after he corralled the rebound of Zach Clemence’s attempted 3-pointer with three seconds left. Pettiford flipped the ball over his shoulder for the winning basket.
Kansas (6-0) advanced to the title game on Friday night against the winner of the clash between No. 22 Tennessee (3-1) and Southern California (4-1). The loser of that contest will face Wisconsin (4-1) in the third-place game on Friday afternoon.
Jalen Wilson scored 29 points by going 9 of 20 from the field — including 2 of 6 from 3-point range — and making nine of 14 free-throw attempts to go along with 14 rebounds.
Kevin McCullar Jr. added 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting that included three 3-pointers to go along with nine rebounds. Gradey Dick added nine points and five rebounds.
Tyler Wahl scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and overtime and added 10 rebounds, while Connor Essegian had 17 points and five rebounds. Max Klesmit had 13 points.
Wahl’s layup had given the Badgers a 68-67 with 20 seconds left in overtime. Wisconsin had trailed by 15 points in the second half.
The Badgers trailed 60-52 with 3:40 left before Wahl scored the game’s next nine points, capped by a driving layup with 49 seconds left.
After Kansas failed to score on its next possession, Essegian’s two free throws pushed the advantage to three with 23 seconds left.
But McCullar’s 3-pointer with 12 seconds left sent the game into overtime after Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn missed from beyond the arc in the final seconds.
After Dajuan Harris gave Kansas a 65-63 lead with 4:13 left in the extra session, neither team scored until Wahl’s three-point play with 1:35 remaining.
Wilson’s two free throws gave Kansas a 67-66 lead with 1:15 left before Wahl followed his missed 3-pointer with a steal with 32 seconds left, enabling the Badgers to call timeout with 26 seconds to play.
Wahl took the in-bounds pass and spun to the basket to give the Badgers a 68-67 lead before Pettiford’s heroics ended the game on the game’s final possession.