CLEVELAND (AP) — Andrew Harrison made two free throws with 6 seconds remaining, and top-ranked Kentucky kept its unbeaten season and national title hopes intact with a 68-66 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night in the Midwest Regional final.
The Wildcats (38-0) advanced to the Final Four in Indianapolis next week, where they will meet top-seeded Wisconsin, the West Regional champion.
The third-seeded Fighting Irish (32-6) came within seconds of shocking the tournament’s overwhelming favorite. Notre Dame wasn’t done until Jerian Grant’s double-clutch 3-pointer from the left corner was long.
Kentucky, which had one other two-point game this season, is two wins from becoming the first undefeated champion since Indiana in 1976.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 25 points for Kentucky, which trailed for most of the second half.
Zach Auguste scored 20 points, Steve Vasturia added 16 and Grant had 15 for the Fighting Irish, who were playing in their first regional final in 36 years.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Frank Kaminsky scored 29 points and Sam Dekker added a career-high 27 as the Badgers reached consecutive Final Fours for the first time in school history.
The top-seeded Badgers (35-3) denied the second-seeded Wildcats (34-4) a Final Four berth for the second straight year, having beaten them by one point in overtime in Anaheim a year ago when their seeds were reversed.
Wisconsin heads to Indianapolis next week for another shot at Kentucky, which beat the Badgers by one point in the national semifinals last year.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley scored 17 points each for the Wildcats, who once again failed to deliver a first-time Final Four appearance for coach Sean Miller. T.J. McConnell added 14 points in his last college game.
The Badgers hit 10 of 12 3-point attempts in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 30-3 from long range.
The Wildcats twice got within five points in the last 2½ minutes, but both times Dekker dashed their hopes with arcing 3-pointers.
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