Connor Essegian scored 13 points and Steven Crowl scored seven of his nine points in the second half as Wisconsin held on for a 43-42 victory over Dayton in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Wednesday in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Max Klesmit blocked Kobe Elvis' running one-handed jumper with two seconds remaining, enabling Wisconsin (4-0) to advance to the semifinals on Thursday morning against No. 3 Kansas (5-0).
Dayton (3-2) will play in the consolation bracket on Thursday afternoon against NC State (4-1), which lost to the Jayhawks 80-74 on Wednesday.
Essegian shot 3 for 6 from the field, including 2 for 4 from distance, and was a perfect 5 for 5 from the free -throw line. Crowl went 3 for 11 from the field and added seven rebounds and four assists. Jordan Davis finished with two points on 1 for 7 shooting to go along with eight rebounds.
The Badgers shot 14 for 59 (23.7 percent) from the field, including 6 for 27 (22.2 percent) from 3-point range.
Dayton was led by Elvis, who had 16 points and eight rebounds, while Mustapha Amzil scored nine points by going 3 for 6 from distance, and DaRon Holmes II also scored nine. Toumani Camara finished with six points and 11 rebounds.
The Flyers shot 16 for 53 (30.2 percent) from the field, including 4 for 27 (14.8 percent) from beyond the arc.
Trailing 34-24 with 13:45 left in the game, the Flyers went on a 15-5 run to tie the game at 39 following Amzil's 3-pointer with 4:56 to go. But the Badgers responded by scoring the next five points before Camara's layup trimmed the lead 43-41 with 2:57 left.
After Holmes split a pair of free throws to make it 43-42 with 59 seconds left, Dayton got the ball back when Camara blocked Crowl's layup attempt with 32 seconds remaining but Elvis failed to hit the game-winning shot.
After Dayton took an 11-10 lead with 10:27 left in the first half, the Badgers closed on a 13-3 run to take a 23-14 lead at halftime.
--Field Level Media