NCAA Tournament: ‘Cats Top Hoosiers in Sweet 16 Scorcher
Breathtaking. It’s corny, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say. Kentucky’s 102-90 win over Indiana last night, at times, simply took my breath away. 192 points were scored in a game that only featured 14 turnovers. That is flat-out unbelievable! Seriously, it’s a shame that someone had to lose.
I was in awe nearly from the opening tip. It was clear these two teams representing legendary basketball programs laced ’em up ready to play some by-God hardcore hoops. Indiana played its absolute best game of the season. The Hoosiers shot 52 percent and scored 90 points and STILL lost by 12. How Indiana lost 8 games this season is beyond me. Last night, they could’ve beaten any other team in this tournament.
That may not be a guess; no other team in this tournament before last night had hit the 90-point mark, and both the ‘Cats and the Hoosiers managed it in one game. Was it a good game defensively? Clearly the answer is no. But after watching #1 seed Syracuse score only 64 points in a win over Wisconsin; #1 seed North Carolina need overtime to beat #13 seed Ohio; #2 seed Kansas win each of its last two games without scoring more than 63 points in either contest; and #4 seed Louisville BLOWING OUT top seed Michigan State without even breaking 60, I was ready for some high-octane old-school basketball.
And Kentucky and Indiana were more than willing to provide. It was an extraordinary game with barely a noticeable mistake made by either team. It also showed that Kentucky can, in addition to being able to grind out wins in a low scoring defensive tilt, they can also crank up the heat in an offense-is-king barnburner.
Now, I’m not saying this performance means that UK has unlocked all the doors to the National Championship; their next game is against Baylor, a team that can match up with the ‘Cats better than any other team in this tournament. (I’d also count North Carolina in that group if they didn’t have a wounded point guard.) But whatever happens from here on in, Big Blue Nation and Hoosier Nation turned up the firepower and gave us the kind of game we should always get in the NCAA Tournament. An instant classic!