INDIANAPOLIS (WAVY) — Perfection no more. Highly favored number one overall seed Kentucky suffered its first lost of the season to one-seed Wisconsin in the Final Four national semi final tonight, 71-64
Frank “the “Tank” Kaminsky led the Badgers (36-3) with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while teammates Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes scored 16 and 12 respectively. With just 1:44 left in regulation and the game dead-locked at 60-60, Dekker rose and nailed a three-point jumper to give his team the lead for good, setting up a Duke-Wisconsin national championship game on Monday.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Kentucky with 16 points and nine rebound.
The Wildcats (38-1) were the first team to ever start a season 38-0 and the first team to enter the Final Four. undefeated since the 1991 UNLV Running Rebels (who lost to Duke in the national championship.) The last team to finish the season without a loss was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers (32-0).
Kentucky boasted a roster with nine McDonald’s All- Americans and was heavily favored to win the National Championship after losing in the championship game last season to Connecticut. This years roster returned several key parts from that roster and boasted one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
After jumping out to an early 5-0 lead, the Wildcats trailed by as many as nine in the first half as a part of a 12-3 Badgers run, fueled by senior Frank Kaminsky.
Sophomore guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison help lead Kentucky back in the lead 36-34 and the game was tied at the half.
Bronson Koenig of Wisconsin made a 3-pointer to push the Badgers to a 52-44 lead.
Kentucky went on a 14-4 run to retake the lead 58-56, but did not have enough down the stretch, as the Badgers were able to avenge last year’s Final Four loss to Kentucky, to move on to face Duke in Monday’s national championship game.
Wisconsin is looking for its first National Championship since 1941.