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Kentucky Ends Wichita State’s Perfect Season in Round-of-32 Thriller

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Neither team ever had a double-digit lead. Wichita State shot 55%. Kentucky shot 54%. Both teams were laser-focused offensively. Thing is, it’s a basketball game and SOMEBODY has to lose.

And THAT team was Wichita State.

Coming into this game, the Shockers were sporting the first-ever 35-0 mark in college basketball history. They were the only 1-seed that had no trouble against its 16-seed opponent in the Round of 64, beating Cal-Poly by 27.

They made 10 3-pointers and were never rattled in a game that was closer than any they’d played all season. There was no evidence of the burden of going undefeated anywhere on their faces or in their demeanor.

Wichita State played a great game.

And, yet, a group of freshmen, sophomores, and one walk-on senior took ‘em down with equal amounts of laser focus (no turnovers in the final 8:25) and offensive excellence.

The final score 78-76 was truly indicative of the masterpiece we’d all just witnessed. This was an incredible basketball, worthy of being in the NCAA Tournament.

I saw so many ugly games yesterday–and, actually, the early game today, too, between Stanford and Kansas–that this level of play was even more thrilling than it would have been anyway.

Congratulations to Wichita State for a truly extraordinary season.

And congrats to the Cats for being what their talent has indicated they could be all year.

Click here for more game stats and details.

And now, Kentucky will play Louisville in the Sweet 16.

Whew!

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