ATLANTA — Kentucky fended off one set of Wildcats in the aperture annular of the NCAA Tournament, but couldn’t alike the accomplishment in the Sweet Sixteen.
The fifth-seeded Wildcats saw their postseason run appear to an end with a 61-58 accident to No 9 berry Kansas State Thursday night at Philips Arena. It apparent John Calipari’s aboriginal accident in the bounded semifinals in his administration as drillmaster of the Wildcats.
Prior to Thursday’s loss, the Wildcats were 6-0 in Sweet Sixteen amateur beneath Calipari. Kentucky concluded the ision at 26-11.
Calipari said the concrete attributes of the bold was adamantine for his aggregation to overcome.
"I ane the bold was physical," Calipari said. "You know, there was the abandon of motion to cut and do it. It was a concrete game. And it affectionate of got us a little out of rhythm, and it wears you down. I mean, I anion Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) got beat down. We were accomplishing some things late. We had some turnovers that -- we accept a advance now, and we about-face it over a little bit. And there was a abrrent alleged on a chargeless throw, and we accept a one-point advance at that time and arena like we did, which was amazing. We had our chances."
Kansas State (25-11) will face Loyola of Chicago in the South Region finals Saay. The Ramblers (31-5) belted Nevada 69-68 in the aperture bold of a doubleheader.
Kansas State bouncer Barry Brown hit a active layup with 19 abnormal actual to breach a 58-58 deadlock and Amaad Wainright fabricated one of two chargeless throws to accelerate the Wildcats into the bounded finals. Kansas State fabricated nine sts from continued range.
Kentucky absent a brace of 3-pointers — one by Quade Green and addition by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — in the final seven abnormal and bootless to affected an aboriginal deficit. The Wildcats committed 15 turnovers and bootless to get into a constant breeze adjoin the stingy Wildcats.
The slow-down clip ill-fitted Kansas State aloof fine.
"We had to action it out, bullwork it out, and we did, and now we accept a advenious to go to the Final Four," Wildcats drillmaster Bruce Weber said.
PJ Washington paced Kentucky with 18 credibility and 15 rebounds, but absent 12 chargeless throws. Overall, the Wildcats accomplished 23-37 at the free-throw line.
Gilgeous-Alexander followed with 15 points, scoring 13 of tse in the aboriginal half. Gilgeius-Alexander fabricated aloof one of his aboriginal seven sts from the field, but affiliated on 11 of 12 chargeless throws. Gilegous-Alexander and Washington aculated for 20 credibility in the aboriginal frame.
Kentucky trailed 33-29 at the bisected but denticulate seven of the aboriginal nine credibility of the additional bisected to affirmation its aboriginal advance of the game. Quade Green’s 3-pointer with 17:18 actual gave the Wildcats a 36-35 advantage.
Kansas State, accepted for its stingy aegis and appropriate soting, responded with a 9-0 run and rushed the allowance to 47-38 with 12:45 remaining, putting the Wildcats into addition accepted aperture that accepted to be adamantine to overcome.
Kentucky, which trailed for aloof two account aculated in wins over Davidson and Buffalo, got off to a apathetic alpha adjoin the opposing Wildcats, w denticulate seven in a row to accessible the contest.
Kansas State affiliated on four of its aboriginal bristles acreage goals, including three sts from continued ambit and congenital a 13-1 four account into the contest.
"We aloof capital to aculate angry at that point," Knox said. "We was bottomward 12 early, but we knew we still had a lot of bold left. We fabricated our runs, they fabricated their runs. We capital to accomplish abiding that we aloof get aback aing in the bold activity into halftime and appear out in the additional bisected and fight, but we didn't get the after-effects that we wanted."
Kentucky fell abaft 11-0 at Arkansas aftermost ages but rallied and angry the account at 43-43 at the bisected afore announcement a ertive 87-72 win over the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, but couldn't do it for a additional time this season.
"I didn't apperceive we were activity to go up, whatever it was, 13-1 or whatever the account was," Weber said. "And we said we capital to be pests like UMBC was to Virginia and they were to us, and I ane we were. I'm not abiding they were accessible for it. We got afterwards them and got a nice lead."
The two teams aculated for 26 fouls in the aperture half, with four Kentucky players accession added than two fouls in the aboriginal frame. The Wildcats fabricated aloof six sts on 23 attempts, including aloof one 3-pointer on bristles tries in the aboriginal half.
Xavier Sneed led Kansas State with 22 points, but befuddled out with 1:14 remaining.
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