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Xavier closed hard on the defensive end to seal the deal at Wisconsin.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Wisconsin
Defense wins.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

With 2:44 to play, Wisconsin hit a jumper to go up 66-64 on Xavier. The place where Wisconsin plays - whatever it's called - was rocking, the Badgers were playing with a ton of confidence, and I was on the same couch I was two Marches ago.

Then came the lock down. In the next two and a half minutes, Wisconsin got 6 possessions; they scored two points. Xavier held the Badgers to 1-7/0-1/0-0 shooting with the game on the line. Wisconsin managed one offensive board and a grand total of zero good looks from the floor down the stretch.

Ethan Happ had been having his way, but Coach Mack put in the necessary adjustment on the dribble handoff to shut him down. That one kid who played quarterback in high school suddenly didn't have the right audibles to get looks. X killed every possession but one with a defensive rebound after one shot.

On the other end, Tre did his thing, JP punctuated the game with a monster dunk, and X closed from down two to win by ten.

It's going to take a certain meanness to win games in the Big East. Tonight, Xavier showed they have it.