Wisconsin Snaps Kentucky’s Undefeated Streak in Final Four

by: Perry Green AFRO Sports Editor
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NCAA Kentucky Wisconsin Final Four Basketball
Wisconsin players celebrate after an NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Kentucky Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. Wisconsin won 71-64. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky posted a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds to help the No. 1 seed Badgers knock off the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats, 71-64, in the Final Four round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on April 4 in Indianapolis.

Wisconsin (36-3) advanced to face No. 1 seed Duke in the National Championship game on April 6.

NCAA Kentucky Wisconsin Final Four Basketball
Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker (15) shoots against Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson (44) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Kentucky-Wisconsin matchup truly lived up to its hype as a clash of titans. Both teams brought their A-games, delivering a close battle that lasted until the final seconds of the game. The score was tied at 36 at halftime and stayed tight throughout the second half. It wasn’t until junior forward Sam Dekker drilled a three-pointer with just less than two minutes left that Wisconsin created enough of a cushion to seal the win. Dekker’s clutch shot from the arc broke a 60-60 tie and sparked a 11-4 run, including a 7-1 run during the final 25 seconds which stamped the Badgers’ tickets to the title game.

NCAA Kentucky Wisconsin Final Four Basketball
Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes (10) drives against Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns (12) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Dekker scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting; Kaminsky’s 20 points and 11 rebounds was the only double-double produced in the game. Sophomore forward Nigel Hayes and freshman guard Bronson Koenig each added 12 points for Wisconsin.

Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns led Kentucky with 16 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Kentucky ended its magical season run with a 38-1 record, two wins short of becoming the first undefeated team to win the National Championship in decades. Meanwhile, Wisconsin will play in its first championship game in 75 years.

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