3/23/2012 11:00:50 PM
Three and a half months later and back atop the national rankings, Kentucky
returned Indiana the favor -- albeit on a bigger stage and without the need
for any late-game heroics.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Doron Lamb scored 21 and
the top-seeded Wildcats beat the Hoosiers, 102-90, in the Sweet 16 on Friday.
Anthony Davis added nine points and 12 rebounds and Darius Miller scored 19
off the bench for Kentucky (35-2), which moved on to face third-seeded Baylor
in the South Region final on Sunday with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
Christian Watford, who hit the three-pointer that beat the Wildcats Dec. 10,
led fourth-seeded Indiana (27-9) with 27 points and Cody Zeller scored 20.
Watford's three sent the Wildcats to their only loss until Vanderbilt beat
them in the championship game of the SEC Tournament on March 11.
Kentucky, the top overall seed in the NCAAs, led by as many as 13 after taking
a three-point lead into halftime and made a regional final for the third year
in a row.
Marquis Teague scored 14 points, Terrence Jones had 12 and Davis -- after he
won the Adolph Rupp Award earlier in the day -- blocked three shots. The
talented freshman attempted just five shots in the game, making two, but the
Wildcats didn't need much more from him.
"I got in early foul trouble," he said. "By the second half, my teammate told
me, you're fine. Just come out and play your game."
The Wildcats won despite being out-shot by Indiana 52.2 percent to 48.4 --
partly because they made 35-of-37 free throws.
Two Hoosiers starters -- guard Victor Oladipo and forward Will Sheehey --
fouled out of the game. Oladipo had 15 points, Sheehey scored 10 and Jordan
Hulls added 12.
"I'm not sure what to say," said Indiana coach Tom Crean. "I'm proud of my
players, I know that. I'm sure John (Calipari) is as well. That was a hard-
Two of Davis' nine points came on a tip-in with under nine minutes remaining
that gave Kentucky a 13-point lead at 79-66. But the game tightened down the
After a Wildcat turnover, Zeller scored on a put back to draw Indiana within
82-77 with five minutes remaining. Lamb hit two free throws at the other end,
however, and Miller followed with a layin to push Kentucky's lead to 86-77.
It was 11 points before Watford's three got the Hoosiers within 92-84 with
1:45 remaining, but Indiana never got closer than that.
"It was a war," said Calipari, the Kentucky coach, "and Indiana played great,
and we just happened to play a little bit better. But it was a war."
It was the fourth time the teams met in the NCAA Tournament and Kentucky
improved to 3-1 in those games with three straight wins. It was their first
meeting in the tourney since 1983.
The teams committed just 14 combined turnovers...The Hoosiers shot 58.1
percent in the first half but never led by more than four...The Rupp Award is
given out as a national player of the year award. Davis has also been named a
first-team All-American, SEC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and
Defensive Player of the Year.