It wasn’t an easy win and it definitely wasn’t a pretty one, but the Kentucky Wildcats have punched their ticket to the Sweet 16.
The Wildcats never could get in rhythm against the Wichita State Shockers, who seemed to have an answer for everything the Wildcats threw at them. Dominique Hawkins made some big plays. Mychal Mulder and Derek Willis both made vital three pointers, and Bam, he was almost unstoppable.
But, let’s be honest here, Wichita State deserved a much higher seed than a 10-seed. They are a tough, gritty, consistent team that could’ve easily beat the Wildcats today. After having a 26-24 lead at the half, I fully expected the Wildcats to click and shut down the Shockers, but that’s not what happened. The two teams traded the lead a few times before the Wildcats tried to go on a run, to which Wichita State responded.
It came down to the wire. Malik Monk may not have shaken out of his slump yet, but he was just what the Wildcats needed at the end to seal the deal. He hit a 3, blocked a shot and hit two vital free throws that about sealed the deal for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats now head down to Memphis to take on the winner of the UCLA-Cincinnati game this evening.