Yes, I picked Kentucky to go all the way … but I always included the caveat that a lot would have to go wrong for them to lose in this tourney, and a lot would have to go right for someone else to beat them.
That’s exactly what happened last night. Kentucky only made three 3-pointers, only shot 10 free throws, got outrebounded by 12 … but more than anything else, they did not do the things they were known for, the things that got them to 38-0.
They always played to win in close games, instead of not to lose, except last night they were up 4 with under 5 minutes to go but then got very tentative with their offense, having three late shot clock violations and not getting the ball into an unstoppable force, big man Karl Anthony Towns, down the stretch.
They did not get stops like they always had in the last few minutes, and ultimately Wisconsin did to Kentucky what Kentucky did to everyone else all year … they closed out the game with all the big shots, big defensive stops and big plays down the stretch.
Coach Bo Ryan took advantage of matchups and exploited Kentucky with his multi-dimensional and multi-skilled front court of Frank Kaminsky Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes. All that was up for discussion this morning, along with the awful officiating, on Ian O’Connor’s radio show on ESPN Radio in New York.