Cleveland, OH- The University of Kentucky Wildcats advance to the final four defeating Notre Dame 68-66 on 2 Andrew Harrison free throws and to remain undefeated, making history at 38-0.
The thrilling game had countless lead changes and ties to make the game an instant classic. As well as a last posession 3 point shot from Notre Dame to win the game. The shot was greatly defended and it was long.
Notre Dame and coach Mike Grey made #38 the toughest W for the Cats in tournament play.The Irish played their best game all year Saturday night and lost to a mediocre Kentucky performance.
Kentucky starter’s had a 20 inch size advantage but no one could tell it Saturday night. Notre Dame out rebounded the Cats in the first half and converted many buckets in the paint including multiple lay ups and dunks.
Kentucky was led by the outstanding play from freshman Karl Anthony Towns.Towns dominated scoring 25 (10-13 from the field) including big buckets down the stretch to keep the Cats within striking distance. Towns went 8 for 8 in the second half and put the team on his back and carried them to victory.
Trey Lyles also played well with 9 points and 5 boards.
Two great signs from the game were Devin Booker finding his stroke and Andrew Harrison’s confidence. Every year the Cats have won a title they’ve gotten great play from the point guard position.
Harrison penetrated the middle of the Irish’s zone creating open shots which the Cats couldn’t hit in the first 20 mins of action. Harrison helped lead the charge to the comeback the Cats faced with 4 minutes remaining and ultimately sealed the deal with 2 huge free throws.
Kentucky’s defense that had terrorized opponents all year was non-existent until they clamped down at the 2 minute mark in the second half which held the Irish scoreless.
Willie Cauley-Stein was non existent and has been heavily criticized by national media about his recent play. The same media that loved him a month ago.
It also appeared that Aaron Harrison’s injured finger had an affect on his shot in the first half until the ice man drained a big 3 in crunch time.
Notre Dame’s pro style offense gave Kentucky fits causing miscommunication and great looks for the Irish which they hit. The Irish semed to hit every shot until the 2 minute mark.
Auguste had 20 points and 9 boards for the Irish and grant contributed 15 points and 6 dimes in the losing effort.
Kentucky is like a prize-fighter. The Cats take everyone’s best shot and somehow stay composed, play lock down defense, and find a way to win and 2 steps closer to #9 and the history books.
Kentucky will face Wisconsin next Saturday in the final four. Tip is at 8:49 in Indy.
For more news, updates, and podcasts about the Wildcats visit www.Kybasketball.tv or follow them on Twitter @kybasketball
If you enjoy my articles follow me on Twitter @_cody_thomas and listen to our new podcast series, “Ballin’ In The Bluegrass”