MVP Sports Channel

Kentucky Moves to 15th Final Four with Easy Win Against Baylor

KentuckyThe Kentucky Wildcats let the dreams come true for basketball fans in the Bluegrass State as they picked up a 12-point, 82-70 win in the South Region Final and set up the first ever Final Four matchup between the two rivals that are separated by only 70 miles.

Baylor was in its second regional final in three years, a bounce back from missing the 2011 tournament altogether, but like in 2010 when the Bears lost to Duke on their way to a title, they were overmatched from beginning to end.

Baylor came out with the intensity they needed, and Anthony Davis got the Cats on the board first, followed by Quincy Acy of the Bears, then Davis added another basket and Terrence Jones scored his only point of the first half on a free throw to go up 5-2.  From there, the Bears would take off on what would look like a scary run for the Kentucky fans in “Cat-lanta,” reeling off eight straight points for a 10-5 lead, which was capped off by a Quincy Miller three that lead UK Coach John Calipari to call a timeout to regroup.

The Wildcats responded to their coach’s demands and Marquis Teague tied the game at 10 with a three, then Kentucky’s Jones got a steal and an assist as he lobbed the ball to Davis for a huge dunk to take the lead for good at 12-10.  The Cats didn’t stop there, over the next two minutes, Kentucky scored nine more points in a row to finish off a 16-point run and make the score 21-10.

Calipari kept his foot on the gas pedal throughout the rest of the first half, and the Wildcats held a 20-point 42-22 lead at the intermission.

At the break, Jones had scored the one point, but had five rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals to show his impact on the court despite his low scoring production.  The freshmen led the Cats in scoring, as Davis tallied 14 in the half and counterpart Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 17.

The second half was more of the same for the Big Blue, as Jones scored four straight points to open the half, and Doron Lamb inflated the lead to 21 points with a three at the 16:40 mark, and it was up to the Bears to try and make a comeback.

The Texan team did go on a 9-1 run to bring the score to 37-52.

Jones added another big play at the 6:73 mark to extend the lead back to 20, but the bears would outscore Kentucky 20-12 to end the game, however it wasn’t enough, as the Cats made their fourth back to back appearance in the final four, the previous coming in 1948 and ‘49, 1996 and ’97, and 1997 and ’98.

Kidd-Gilchrist led the Wildcats in scoring with 19, while Davis added 18, Lamb 14, and Jones 12.  Baylor’s Acy and Pierre Jackson led all scorers with 21 and 21, respectively, while the team’s star, Perry Jones III added a quiet 17 points.

The Cats shot 53.3 percent from the field, and 44.4 percent from three, opposed to 39.1 percent and 28.6 percent.

The in-state rivalry rematch against Louisville will tip off on Saturday at 5:09 CST.

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