The Wisconsin Badgers and Kentucky Wildcats moved on to the Final Four yesterday, setting up a rematch of last year's semifinal that Kentucky won in a nail biter. The Badgers beat Arizona for the 2nd straight year in the Elite Eight, this time behind a monster 2nd half from three led by Sam Dekker, who scored a career high 27 points and has probably made himself a lot of money during this tournament.
Kentucky struggled mightily with a vastly undersized Notre Dame team, but got two free throws late from one of the Harrison twins to pull out the win. UND held a small lead through most of the 2nd half, but went away from the ball movement that was getting them open looks in the last couple of minutes and wasted several possessions that allowed Kentucky to tie and eventually win the game. Karl Anthony Towns absolutely dominated in the paint in the 2nd half, establishing position on the low block and scoring over much smaller players at will, as Notre Dame refused to double team. He finished with 25 points on 13 shots in 25 minutes, including 8-8 in the 2nd half.
Today's games start with Louisville vs. Michigan State at 1:20 pm CDT. This is the surprise regional final, I guess, but one of these teams will get to the Final Four. Good luck to Madison Dan. Following that one will be Duke vs. Gonzaga, which should be a terrific match up. Gonzaga has plenty of size, so seeing how Jahlil Okafor bounces back from a difficult game against Utah will be interesting. Justise Winslow, who, along with Dekker, has probably profited as much as any player during this tournament, will look to continue his run of outstanding play.
Then there is the Wolves:
Wolves at Pelicans
3:00 pm CDT
This will serve as the game thread as well as your Sunday open thread because presumably people have plenty of other things to do on a weekend.
The Pelicans are still fighting for a playoff spot, but are two games down in the loss column to the Thunder who currently occupy 8th place in the Western Conference. They are led, of course, by the incomparable Anthony Davis, who, while he won't win the award, is having an MVP level season.
It appears the Wolves will have their recent cast of characters available today. A big key will be the defensive glass, as the Pels are a terrific offensive rebounding team and the Wolves have been getting hammered there all season, but especially recently.
Here's a link to The Bird Writes.
Enjoy your Sunday.