Carl Krauser scored 16 points as the third-seeded Panthers used a gritty effort to register a 59-55 victory over the sixth-seeded Badgers in the second round of the East Rutherford Region.
Pittsburgh (31-4) advanced to its third straight "Sweet 16" and will face Oklahoma State on Thursday. In a matchup of two of the nation's top defensive teams, the Panthers limited the Badgers to one basket over the final 5:47 to secure the win.
"We gave just a great effort," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "We played with intensity and heart, like we have the whole year."
Krauser's driving layup with 1:59 to go opened a 54-52 edge and Pittsburgh never looked back. After the Panthers forced a pair of misses, Jaron Brown made two free throws to push the lead to four with 42 seconds left.
Wisconsin (25-7), which had an eight-game winning streak snapped, cut the deficit to 56-55 on Boo Wade's 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining. After Krauser made a pair from the line, the Badgers missed a short shot and Brown added a free throw for the final margin.
"They just got the most out of their possessions in the last three minutes," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "When you get into a low-possession game, they've got guys who can make plays."
Krauser did a masterful job staying in the game after picking up his fourth foul with 4:16 left. The sophomore risked an offensive foul when he drove the left side of the lane for the go-ahead points.
"We needed that basket and I definitely didn't have a fear of picking up a foul," Krauser said. "I was just trying to get to the basket and score. If you are worrying about your next foul, you are not going to get the job done."
The Badgers appeared poised for the win after reserve Clayton Hanson's 3-pointer gave them a 48-44 lead with 5:47 to go and put the crowd in a frenzy. But the Panthers showed tremendous poise, getting a dunk from freshman Chris Taft, a breakaway layup by Julius Page and Chevy Troutman's three-point play for a 51-48 edge.
Pittsburgh proved too physical, collecting 15 offensive rebounds that it converted into 14 points and holding a 32-12 edge in points in the paint. Troutman grabbed 14 boards, including five on the offensive glass.
"Rebounding is an emphasis of ours and we did it well against a good rebounding team," Dixon said. "Our guards rebounded well and there was a good effort on the boards against a tough Wisconsin team."
Krauser also made 8-of-10 foul shots as Pitt - a 65 percent free-throw shooting team - connected at 79 percent (15-of-19).
Wisconsin star Devin Harris bounced back from a sub-par effort in Friday's first round to score 21 points but also committed six of the Badgers' 13 turnovers.