The Kentucky Wildcats survived a valiant effort against the upset minded Notre Dame Irish, escaping with a narrow 2 point victory 68-66, as ND point guard Jerian Grant missed a potential game winning trey at the buzzer.
The Wildcats were given their toughest test of the season, as Notre Dame exposed their usually staunch defense, scoring on 20 dunks or lay-ups at the rim with a spread offense and timely 3 point shooting.
Sophomore Andrew Harrison connected on what would be the game winning free throws, just prior to Grant’s errant 3 point shot.
Unquestionably freshman Karl Anthony-Towns was the Wildcats’ best player, going 4-4 late in the 4th quarter, for a team high 25 points, 17 of which came in the 2nd half.
With the victory, UK improved to 38-0, marking the 3rd time in NCAA history that a team has won 38 games in a season, coincidentally all were coached by John Calipari.
Kentucky makes its 17th Final Four, tied with UCLA for second-most all-time. Only North Carolina (18) has more, as well as becoming just the 13th team to enter the Final Four without a loss and first since UNLV in 1991. Seven of the previous 12 won the title.
Up Next: UK plays Wisconsin in the Final Four on Saturday. The Wildcats opened as a 6.5-point favorite in their national semifinal rematch with the Badgers, according to the Las Vegas sportsbook.
Imagine if Grant’s last second heave went in…..
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, Balltribe.com, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.