Wichita State’s unbeaten season is over. Fred Van Vleet’s 3-pointer at the buzzer missed, and the Shockers were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Kentucky in an instant classic, 78-76. The top-seeded Shockers will now head home and watch TV as everyone debates whether or not the season was a “failure.”
Hopefully, everyone will also talk about how incredible this game was. Nobody led by double digits. Kentucky surged to the lead in the final five minutes on the strength of bullish Julius Randle (13 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) and clutch free throw shooting from the Harrison twins (combined for 39 points).
Wichita State was unlucky over the last 10 minutes. Cleanthony Early, who was tremendous with 31 points, had a dunk bounce out. Then, a layin spun out. And a Tekele Cotton 3-pointer toilet-bowled out. And Van Vleet’s long 3-pointer at the buzzer missed, and their season is over.
Kentucky plays Louisville in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats won the meeting earlier this season.