National Basketball Association
Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66
When: 8:49 PM ET, Saturday, March 28, 2015
Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66:
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
# Joe DeRosa, # David Hall, # Chris Rastatter
Andrew Harrison made two foul shots with six seconds left to propel the undefeated Wildcats past the Fighting Irish in a thrilling NCAA Tournament Midwest Region final in Cleveland.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored a career-high 25 points for Kentucky (38-0), which faces Wisconsin - the No. 1 seed from the West Region - in next Saturday's Final Four. Devin Booker added 10 points off the bench, Harrison finished with seven points and Aaron Harrison made a big 3-pointer down the stretch to help the top-seeded Wildcats overcome a six-point deficit with less than six minutes to play.
Zach Auguste paced No. 3 seed Notre Dame (32-6) with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Steve Vasturia added 16 points and Jerian Grant scored 15. After the go-ahead free throws, Grant took the inbound pass and dribbled the length of the court before airballing a contested 3-pointer from the left corner.
Playing with four fouls, Towns muscled in a three-point play to draw Kentucky within 62-61 and Aaron Harrison followed with a long 3-pointer to swing the lead to the Wildcats before Grant answered with a long triple of his own with 2:33 to go. Towns tied the score near the rim with 1:12 left and Kentucky forced a shot-clock violation - Notre Dame's first turnover of the second half - before Harrison was fouled on a drive.
A highly competitive first half ended in a 31-31 deadlock before Notre Dame scored on seven of its first eight possessions of the second half, capped by Pat Connaughton's dunk for a 46-42 edge. The Irish gained some separation on Auguste's putback and Vasturia's 3-pointer for a 59-53 cushion with 6:14 remaining - the largest lead for either team in the game - before Tyler Ulis drained a corner 3-pointer to begin the Wildcats' comeback.GAME NOTEBOOK:
Kentucky is in the Final Four for the fourth time in the last five seasons. No team has completed a season undefeated since Indiana finished 32-0 in 1975-76. ... Towns, who finished 10-of-13 from the field (8-of-8 in the second half), had scored eight points or less in four of his previous five games. The only exception in that stretch was a 21-point effort - his previous career high - in the round of 64 against Hampton. ... Undersized Notre Dame hung tough on the boards, getting outrebounded 29-28. Connaughton and Auguste had nine boards apiece.
Top Game Performances
Zach Auguste 20
Karl-Anthony Towns 25
Jerian Grant 6
Karl-Anthony Towns 4
Zach Auguste 9
Trey Lyles 5
Jerian Grant 6
||Free Throws Made
Andrew Harrison 7
Jerian Grant 2
Karl-Anthony Towns 2
Bonzie Colson 1
Dakari Johnson 3
Team Stats Summary