March Madness: Wildcats Double Up Mountaineers, Square Off with Notre Dame Next
With a 78-39 drubbing of Midwest Region fifth seed West Virginia, the Kentucky Wildcats became the first ever Division-1 NCAA men’s basketball team to begin a season 37-0. The Wildcats’ 39-point victory matched the largest in the Sweet Sixteen during NCAA Tournament history.
Kentucky was clicking on all cylinders early sprinting out to an 18-2 lead. The Wildcats smothering defense built the lead to 26 by halftime and the route was on.
“They were what I thought they were,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “That’s the best defensive team I think that I’ve ever coached against. And when they’re making shots, there’s nobody going to beat them.”
Top-seeded Kentucky, the overwhelming favorites to cut down the nets in Indianapolis next Monday night will face Notre Dame, the ACC Tournament champs on Saturday at 8:49 pm EST from Cleveland, Ohio. Through three games, the Wildcats own a +75 scoring differential, which is the second-best ever by a team entering the tournament unbeaten.
Leading up to the game West Virginia freshman guard Daxter Miles, Jr. predicted his team would end Kentucky’s pursuit of perfection. While no one can be sure how that fueled the Wildcats, it certainly sparked the team on Thursday as several members said they wanted to push the victory total to 50.
“Well, that didn’t come from me because that’s not how I coach,” Kentucky’s John Calipari said. “I mean, what, someone’s going to come in and say we’re going to lose and they’re going to say they’re going to win. But we say at some point you have to step in the ring, we’ll lift the rope, you’ve got to come in here.”
Right now the Fighting Irish stand between Kentucky improving to 38-0 and making another Final Four appearance.
FanRag Sports Wants to Know:
Will Kentucky finish the season as the undefeated national champions?
Which remaining team presents the biggest challenge to Kentucky?
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