Subscribe

Kentucky's perfect season ends with 71-64 loss to Wisconsin

Earlier in the day, Duke prevailed over Michigan State.  The two winners will face off Monday night, in the NCAA champion game.

  • close
    Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel and Michael Rosenberg explain why the Kentucky Wildcats couldn't keep up with the Wisconsin Badgers, ending their run at perfection.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Wisconsin ended Kentucky's bid to become the first college basketball team to remain undefeated in nearly 40 years, beating the Wildcats 71-64 behind 20 points and 11 rebounds from Frank Kaminsky.

Wisconsin will play Duke, an 81-61 winner over Michigan State in the earlier semifinal, at the same venue on Monday night.

"It gives us another 40 minutes, I know that," said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, who leads the Badgers to their first final since 1941.

And Kentucky has a long ride home, finishing the season at 38-1 — two wins short of becoming the first undefeated team in college basketball since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers. Instead, these NBA-ready group of Wildcats join the star-studded 1991 UNLV team as the latest to take an undefeated record into the Final Four but lose in the semifinals.

Trailing by four and gasping for breath after going 6 minutes without a bucket, the Badgers (36-3) responded with an 8-0 run to take a lead Kentucky couldn't overcome.

Kaminsky and Bronson Koenig went 7 for 8 from the line over the last 24 seconds to seal the win.

Kentucky's last, best chance came while trailing by three with 12 seconds left. But Karl-Anthony Towns received the ball in the post and got fouled. He made only one free throw, and from there, Wisconsin clinched it from the foul-line.

Earlier Saturday, Justise Winslow scored 19 points and Jahlil Okafor added 18 to lead top-seeded Duke to an 81-61 victory over Michigan State on Saturday and a shot at its fifth national championship.

Winslow, who played through some early foul trouble, had nine rebounds and was 5 for 7 from the field, while Okafor grabbed six rebounds and was 7 for 11 from the field.

Senior Quinn Cook had 17 points for the Blue Devils, who dominated the game except for the opening minutes when they trailed 14-6.

Defensively, it was a team effort, just the way coach Mike Krzyzewski has stressed for his 35 seasons at Duke. What had been wide open 3-pointers early for Michigan State became contested shots and when the Blue Devils started getting up and on the Spartans, the points were suddenly tough to come by.

Denzel Valentine finished with 22 points, which included hitting three quick 3-pointers in the first quarter to give the No.7 seed Michigan State an early lead.

Trice scored 16 points and Branden Dawson added 12 for the Spartans.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK