CLEVELAND — Talk about a close one! Mighty Kentucky squeaked past the Fighting Irish 68-66 tonight, March 28, winning the Midwest Regional final at Quicken Loans Stadium.
I figured Kentucky would win it, but by a little more than two points! The third-ranked Irish were so close to upsetting arguably the best college basketball team in the country, so far, undefeated.
The first half was a shoot-out. Kentucky scored the first points of the game, but Notre Dame quickly responded with 2 points from forward Pat Connaughton.
From then on, it was two dominant offenses racing to see who could rack up the most points before the time ended. Notre Dame’s Zach Auguste and Jerian Grant did an excellent job of keeping the Fighting Irish neck-and-neck with the Wildcats.
Meanwhile Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns shredded through Notre Dame’s defense, providing the bulk of the points in the first half for Kentucky. The first half ended in a tie, yes, a tie at 31-31!
Shockingly, the Fighting Irish held a lead until there were 2 minutes left in the game. A foul provoked free throws from the Wildcats’ Andrew Harrison. He made them both, breaking the 66-66 tie. Final: 68-66 Kentucky. They will play Wisconsin next, who is also number one in their region, the West.