No. 2 Kentucky beat No. 10 Wichita State, 65-62, in a second-round NCAA tournament game on Sunday in Indianapolis. It was one of the games of the year, even though neither team should’ve had to play the other until at least a week from now.
They were pretty well in lockstep for most of the game, but Kentucky built up a 58-51 lead with four minutes remaining. In Wichita State-Kentucky, seven points feels like 20, because we’re only used to watching these teams play within inches of one another. “Comfortable” is not a setting that applies when these teams play.
But Wichita State mounted a furious charge back from the abyss, because Gregg Marshall’s Shockers teams are nothing if not resilient and tested. The Shockers got their deficit to 63-62 and forced a stop to get a chance to go ahead in the last 15 seconds. It didn’t happen, ultimately, because of a couple bad offensive sets.
Malik Monk blocked Markis McDuffie’s go-ahead three-point try, which represented Wichita’s best chance to win. Two Wildcat free throws made it a three-point game, and then Bam Adebayo turned away Landry Shamet’s tying triple attempt at the buzzer.