Kentucky's kids avoid upset

Posted
INDIANAPOLIS — Bam Adebayo had a double-double and swatted away the final shot on Sunday as Kentucky sent Wichita State to yet another second-round heartbreak, 65-62 in the NCAA Tournament.

The youngest team in March Madness grew up in the closing minutes.

Adebayo had 13 points and 10 rebounds. De'Aaron Fox had 14 points, including a late steal and dunk. Malik Monk blocked a shot and made a pair of free throws in the final 13 seconds. Adebayo clinched it by blocking Landry Shamet's 3-pointer shot at the buzzer.

Yes, Kentucky's freshman trio did it all.

Wham, Bam, move on 'Cats (31-5), right into the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in nine years.

And wipe tears away again, Shockers (31-5).

Three years ago, Wichita State was 35-0 when it lost to Kentucky in the second round, crestfallen after Fred Van Vleet's 3-pointer missed at the buzzer of Kentucky's 78-76 win. This time, their attempt at a tying 3 never had a chance. Shamet finished with 20 points.

BIG PICTURE

Wichita State: Coach Gregg Marshall referred to Adebayo as "a mountain of a man" and someone the Shockers had to control to have a chance. The 6-foot-10, 260-pound freshman had 15 points and 18 rebounds — the third-most for Kentucky in an NCAA Tournament game — during an opening win over Northern Kentucky. The Shockers limited him to two points and five rebounds in the first half, but lost track of him a couple times early in the second half for dunks that got him started.

Kentucky: Monk — the ACC's player of the year — missed all of his six shots from beyond the arc and finished with 12 points in the opening-round victory. Coach John Calipari later said he's been limited by a bruised lower back. Against the Shockers, he was 3 of 10 in 29 minutes.

TOURNAMENT RARITY

The rematch marked only the second time in NCAA Tournament history that a pair of 30-win teams played in the first weekend. On March 24, 2008, No. 2 Tennessee (30-4) beat No. 7 Butler (30-3) in overtime 76-71 in the second round.

UP NEXT

Kentucky faces No. 3 UCLA or No. 6 Cincinnati next Friday in Memphis, the site of the South Regional.

Saturday's Scores

Wisconsin 65, Villanova 62

Arizona 69, Saint Mary's 60

West Virginia 83, Notre Dame 71

Purdue 80, Iowa State 76

Xavier 91, Florida State 66

Florida 65, Virginia 39

Gonzaga 79, Northwestern 73

Butler 74, Middle Tennessee 65

Sunday's Early Scores

Kentucky 65, Wichita State 62

Michigan 73, Louisville 69


TALK TO US

If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.



Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions