INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The state of Indiana was temporarily Northern Kentucky for two hours Friday night, as historical basketball powerhouses Kentucky and Louisville took their in-state rivalry into Lucas Oil Stadium with a berth in the Elite Eight on the line. The eighth-seeded Wildcats emerged victorious, defeating the defending champion Cardinals 74-69. Despite not leading since the first basket of the game, Kentucky took the lead in the final minutes of the second half with the help of good free-throw shooting and managed to hang on just long enough to knock off Louisville.
Three Kentucky Wildcats scored 15 points, while the Cardinals were led by Russ Smith and Luke Hancock’s 42 combined points in the loss. Both teams shot over 40 percent from the field, and in the end it was Kentucky’s 81 percent free throw percentage that carried the Wildcats to victory despite losing Willie Cauley-Stein to an injury early in the game. Kentucky advances to face No. 2-seeded Michigan in the regional final Sunday, with the winner advancing to the Final Four.
Kevin Kugler and P.J. Carlesimo called the action on WestwoodOne Sports.