After a season of hype, consistent winning form, and a whole lot of basketball tradition, the epic semi-final rematch between the Kentucky Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers lived up to the drama.
Just last year in the same match up in the national semi-finals, Kentucky edged Wisconsin by one point on a buzzer beater, This year Wisconsin turned the tables and shocked the basketball world by ending Kentucky's historic 38 game winning streak two victories shy of perfection.
The final scoreboard read
Wisconsin 71-64 but the grit and determination of the
Badger squad in battling back from deficits was the determining factor. Kentucky, as
usual, fought back from deficits of nine-points in the first-half and 8 points
in the second-half and with six minutes left in the game held a four point lead
after outscoring Wisconsin 16-4.
saved their unbeaten season time-and-again went cold. The team of destiny fell flat and only scored
four points the rest of the game. Kentucky stars Frank
Kaminsky, the MVP of the game, and Sam Dekker rallied the Badgers to a seven-point
Shock waves swept through the Kentucky Blue nation as tears of sadness rather than joy were shed at the end of the game. Twice in the closing minutes, bad calls by the refs went against
, but they had plenty of
opportunities to save the victory and did not. UK
, the blue-collar team of
basketball again rallied behind the most valuable player of the year in college
basketball, Kaminsky, and the team never lost sight of their goal. You see, it was never their intent to avenge the
loss last year in the semi-final to Wisconsin . Kentucky
The Badgers focused solely on winning only the second national championship in history for
, the last
coming 74 long years ago. To accomplish
their mission, they have one more game, against mighty Duke, four-time national
champion, Monday night in the finals. Wisconsin
In the end,
The Wildcats repeatedly bled the clock dry, put the ball in the hands of one of the Harrison twins and asked them to create off the dribble against Koenig, but they were not able to score with anywhere near the ease they did during a first half when they combined for 18 points.
He said his team struggled to guard
Wisconsin's players, and the rebound
battle -- which
won by 12 -- was crucial. Wisconsin
Kamisky, who turned 22 on Saturday, was asked how the Badgers out rebounded a team that is the tallest in basketball.
"We stayed into them, attacking them, trying to do whatever we can," he said. "Just trying to keep them off the glass was one of our main priorities."
Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan said, "These guys just gutted it out."
Regardless of why it happened, the ending was still a shock for the legions of