College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, April 4, 2015
(1) Duke 81 (7) Michigan State 61 - So much for hype. In terms of excitement, this one was definitely snooze button material. No wonder these semi-finals are televised on TBS. Once Duke established a lead - about midway through the first half - they never looked back and led by 11 at the break.
The Blue Devils expanded their lead to as many as 20 points. Michigan State never got closer than 13 after Duke made the opening three buckets of the second half. Justise Winslow led Duke with 19 points, followed by Jahlil Okafor's 18 and 17 from Quinn Cook. Statistically, the game was decided at the foul line. Duke went to the line 37 times and made 27. The Spartans had 16 free throw attempts and made 10.
The only remaining question is when do the "I Hate Coach K" tee-shirts go on sale?
(1) Wisconsin 71 (1) Kentucky 64 - Wisconsin engineered a 15-4 run to close out the game, ending Kentucky's unbeaten streak at 38 games. The Badgers seemed desperate with under five minutes remaining, but Sam Dekker's jumper at 4:28 got the Badgers rolling. Outstanding defense against the Wildcats throughout, but especially at crunch time keyed the Badger victory. Kentucky made just one of eight attempts from the field in the final 5:30.
The Badgers led most of the first half, but Kentucky managed to claw back into the fray leaving the two teams deadlocked at intermission.
Wisconsin shot 47% (13-28) in the first half; Kentucky, 60% (15-25), but The Badgers out-rebounded Kentucky, 15-10, seven of Wisconsin's boards coming on the offensive end. Kentucky was just 11-for-29 (19%) in the second half. Wisconsin finished at 48% (23-48).
Frank Kaminsky led all scorers with 20 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocked shots. Amazingly, Wisconsin ended the game with an enormous edge on the boards, out-rebounding the Wildcats, 34-22.
The Badgers will face the Duke Blue Devils for the National Championship, Monday night, April 6.
Conference Power Scoreboard
|Conference||W-L||Winners (# of Ws)|
|ACC||17-6||Notre Dame (3), NC State (2), North Carolina (2), Arkansas (1), Virginia (1). Louisville (3), Duke (5)|
|Big East||5-6||Butler (1), Xavier (2), Villanova (1), Georgetown (1)|
|Big Ten||12-6||Ohio State (1), Michigan St. (4), Maryland (1), Iowa (1), Wisconsin (5)|
|Big 12||5-7||Kansas (1), West Virginia (2), Oklahoma (2)|
|Pac-12||8-4||UCLA (2), Arizona (3), Utah (2), Oregon (1)|
|SEC||5-5||Ole Miss (1), Kentucky (4)|
|All Others||14-32||Hampton(1), Robert Morris (1), Dayton (1), UAB (1), Georgia St. (1), Cincinnati (1), N. Iowa (1), Wichita St. (2), San Diego State (1), Gonzaga (3), Dayton (1)|