Thursday, March 22, 2018

Kentucky Wildcats get revenge on Indiana Hoosiers in NCAA Tournament

ATLANTA — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 24 and Kentucky shook off a quiet night by freshman star Anthony Davis, pulling away from Indiana in a showdown of storied programs for a 102-90 victory Friday in a South Region semifinal.

Davis wasn't a huge factor after picking up two early fouls, but the top-seeded Wildcats (35-2) had five other players in double figures.

Christian Watford had 27 points to lead the Hoosiers (27-9), whose comeback season ended two wins shy of the Final Four. Indiana, which won a total of 28 games the previous three seasons, has regained its usual place among the college basketball blue bloods.

But Big Blue is moving on to its third straight region final. Kentucky will face Baylor on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

Kentucky got revenge for a regular-season loss at Indiana.

Baylor never trails, holds off Xavier

ATLANTA — Baylor's Quincy Acy scored the first basket of the game and the Bears were off and running.

The 6-foot-7 senior had a double double and the Bears never trailed as they advanced to their second region final in three years with a 75-70 victory over Xavier on Friday night.

Acy had 20 points and 15 rebounds. He made two free throws with 31 seconds remaining after Xavier got within six.

Baylor coach Scott Drew said it never gets old watching Acy play.

"Baylor fans have been blessed, the nation's been blessed, and he is a better person than a player," Drew said.

Baylor, wearing bright neon-green uniforms, led by 18 less than eight minutes into the game.

Xavier never quit, cutting the lead to 71-68 with 22 seconds left.

Pierre Jackson had 16 and Perry Jones III had 14 for the Bears (30-7).

Tu Holloway led Xavier with 22 points.

"I'm very disappointed; this is the furthest I've gotten, the Sweet 16," said Holloway, a senior. "I told the guys in the locker room I'm really happy. After everything we've been through this season, everyone counted us out. People said we weren't going to make the tournament, and we made it here."

Xavier was hurt by poor shooting, especially 3-pointers. The Musketeers were 0-for-11 on 3 before Justin Martin ended the drought with two minutes remaining. He added a 3 40 seconds later, and Holloway made a 3 with 22 seconds left.

Baylor's Brady Heslip made four consecutive free throws in the final 17 seconds.

Heslip, coming off a career-high 27 points on nine 3-pointers against Colorado, had one against Xavier and finished with 11 points.

Baylor also won three NCAA Tournament games in 2010 before losing to eventual national champion Duke.

Xavier (23-13) couldn't advance after making the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years.

Kenny Frease had 18 points and Mark Lyons had 16 for the Musketeers.

With Xavier stretching its defense and Baylor working the clock, Jackson sank a 3-pointer with 2:50 left to give the Bears their biggest lead of the second half at 65-54. After a missed free throw by Lyons, Acy's basket pushed the lead to 13 — too much for the Musketeers to overcome.

Homer and Janet Drew, the parents of Scott Drew, attended their first game this season. Each had battled cancer, with Janet Drew just having finished radiation and chemotherapy for bladder cancer.

"She's battled a lot and gone through a lot and probably shouldn't have come down," Scott Drew said, "but my mom's the tough one in the family. She was worn out from getting here.

"I think if we'd have lost and she had to drive back (today), she'd have really hated me."


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