Michigan State and Wisconsin made the B1G the only conference with two teams in Indianapolis, but once they got there their first games went a bit differently. Wisconsin faced the mighty Kentucky Wildcats, they of the undefeated record and the rabid fan base. While the Spartans drew their own #1-seed in Duke. The Badgers played in and won one of the best college basketball games of the season against UK, but MSU's luck ran out and they struggled to keep it close with the Blue Devils.
#7 Michigan State vs. #1 Duke
A quick start wasn't enough to put Sparty in a position to win. MSU hit four quick threes to take a 14-6 lead in the first five minutes, but Duke fought back with tough defense and ended the half with a sizable lead, 36-25. The second half saw the Blue Devils lead continue to grow and the Spartans season slipped away with a 81-61 final. Foul trouble was a big factor (imagine that, Duke got a lot of foul calls) MSU was called for 28 fouls in the game, compared to 18 for Duke.
Denzel Valentine led both teams with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Teammates Branden Dawson and Travis Trice scored 12 and 16 points respectively in their final game in green and white. The Blue Devils were led by Justise Winslow who scored 19, including 9-11 from the line, and grabbed 9 rebounds. Big man Jahlil Okafor added 18 points, while Quinn Cook contributed another 17.
#1 Wisconsin vs. #1 Kentucky
It took a whole year, but Wisconsin got their revenge on Kentucky and are now headed to the NCAA Tournament Final. The ending wasn't quite as dramatic as last season's semifinal, but the game was the best of college basketball. Both teams showed their ability by not only playing quality defense the whole game, but also each being able to shot 48% from the field as well. It was a tight game throughout with the biggest lead coming from the Badgers at 23-14. Tied at 36 at halftime, Wiscy again pulled out to a lead to start the second, but UK made a run to take the lead before the Badgers responded. Down three with 25 seconds to go, Kentucky looked like they might get a chance to send it to OT, but a foul sent Karl-Anthony Towns to the line where he hit only one. Bronson Koenig then hit two FTs of his own before couple of Kentucky turnovers and more free throws did the Wildcats in. A 71-64 win for Wisconsin and the first loss for this Kentucky team.
Player of the Year, Frank Kaminsky led all scorers with 20 and all rebounders with 11. Sam Dekker had 16 points, while fellow Badger Nigel Hayes and Koenig chipped in 12. For Kentucky, it was Towns leading the way with 16 and 9 boards. Andrew Harrison had 13 points and twin Aaron Harrison had 12, while hometown player Trey Lyles earned 9 points. It should be mentioned that there were some odd calls by the refs down the stretch, but in the end they seemed to even themselves out. Wisconsin and Duke will now play on Monday night to decide the championship. Duke won by ten in Madison this year, but think we might see a different outcome this time around.