Wisconsin Upsets Kentucky; Faces Duke in NCAA Men’s Basketball Title Game
Wisconsin defeated unbeaten Kentucky 71-64 and Duke ended Michigan State’s season 81-61 in NCAA Final Four semifinal games on Saturday night.
The triumphs advanced both to Monday’s national championship game in Indianapolis for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Wisconsin 71, Kentucky 64
Frank Kaminsky had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Wisconsin upset previously undefeated Kentucky, 71-64, in the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis on Saturday night. The Badgers’ win put them in the national title game for the first time since 1941.
Wisconsin, which led by nine points in the first half, went on an 8-0 run late in the second half to take a four-point lead with little over a minute to play. The Badgers sealed the victory by going 7 for 8 from the free throw line over the last 30 seconds of the game.
Sam Dekker added 16 for West Regional champ Wisconsin (36-3), which will face Duke in Monday’s national title game. The Blue Devils beat the Badgers, 80-70, in Madison, Wisc. on Dec. 3.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points for Midwest Regional champ Kentucky (38-1), which finished two games shy of the first perfect season since Indiana’s 1975-76 campaign.
Duke 81, Michigan State 61
Justise Winslow had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Duke routed Michigan State, 81-61, in the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis on Saturday evening. With the victory, the top-seeded Blue Devils advanced to Monday’s national championship game where they will face the winner of Saturday’s Kentucky-Wisconsin game.
The Spartans bolted out to a 14-6 lead to start the game, but Duke stormed back behind freshman phenom Jahlil Okafor to take a 36-25 lead into halftime. The South Regional champion-Blue Devils extended their lead with a dominant second half effort that showcased their defensive prowess as much as it did their offensive skill. They held Michigan State to 40 percent shooting for the game.
Okafor finished with 18 points. Quinn Cook added 17 for Duke (34-4), which will make its first title game appearance since winning the championship in 2010.
Denzel Valentine led the seventh-seeded Spartans with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The East Regional champions finished their season with a record of 27-12.