Wisconsin stuns previously unbeaten Kentucky

Sun Apr 5, 2015 12:34am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - The Wisconsin Badgers stunned previously undefeated Kentucky 71-64 in a tense Final Four triumph on Saturday to advance to the U.S. collegiate national championship game against Duke.

"Best birthday present I've ever had," said a celebrating Frank Kaminsky, who sparked the Badgers' victory with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Kentucky had entered the game with a 38-0 record and were attempting to become the first team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to top off a perfect season with a championship.

But the underdog Badgers used a late comeback to set up their title matchup on Monday against Duke, which crushed Michigan State 81-61 in Saturday's other Final Four game in Indianapolis.

Sam Dekker, who had 16 points, hit a three-pointer for Wisconsin with less than two minutes to play to break a 60-60 tie and the Badgers never trailed again, clinching the win at the free throw line.

Kari-Anthony Towns led the Kentucky with 16 but the Wildcats were uncharacteristically dominated inside where Wisconsin won the rebounding battle 34-22.

Wisconsin will be going for their first national championship since 1941.

They lost to Duke earlier this season in a regular season clash.

Justise Winslow scored 19 points, Jahlil Okafor added 18 as the Blue Devils flexed their offense against Michigan State.   Continued...

 
The Wisconsin Badgers celebrates as Kentucky Wildcats forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) walks off the court in the 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Championship semi-final game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports