Kentucky Wildcats struggle on both ends of floor in season-ending loss to Indiana Hoosiers

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Indiana may have breathed some life back into a classic rivalry that many were ready to declare a thing of the past.

The 5th-seeded Hoosiers got 19 points from freshman center Thomas Bryant and 18 points from senior point guard Yogi Ferrell on their way to a 73-67 upset of 4th-seeded Kentucky on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

It was the first matchup between the tradition-rich programs with a combined 13 national championships between them since the 2012 season.

Indiana (27-7) used a 12-2 run late in the second half to break a tie game and end UK's (27-9) season. The Hoosiers will advance to the Sweet 16 in Philadelphia next weekend with a matchup against either top-seeded North Carolina or 9th-seeded Providence.

Junior swingman Troy Williams added 13 points for IU. Williams and Bryant were one-time major UK recruiting targets before landing with the Hoosiers.

In what was likely his final game as a Wildcat, sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis scored a game-high 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field. But he got little help from his teammates, who went a combined 14-of-37 from the floor on a day when UK was held to 42 percent and committed an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers.

Freshman guard Jamal Murray, who averaged 20 points per game this season, went 7-for-18 from the field and only 1-for-9 from beyond the arc to finish with 16 points.

"We're normally the most efficient offensive team in the country," UK coach John Calipari said. "There's two things that happened: We had six offensive fouls. I don't know if in my career I've had a team have six offensive fouls. Then we couldn't make open shots, so we have 8 assists. Like all these open shots we missed... We missed a ton of really good shots."

Ulis, however, said it wasn't the offensive end that got the Cats beat.

"Offensively, you're not going to have a great night every time," he said. "But defensively, we shouldn't have broken down the way we did. That's where we lost."

Indiana shot 48 percent (25 of 52) from the field, well above the 39.5 percent UK had allowed opponents this season. The Hoosiers won despite not getting a strong 3-point shooting effort, going only 6-for-21 from long range.

In this AW "Rapid Recap" feature, we touch on some quick-hitters from the UK-IU battle...


With the game tied at 50 with 8:04 remaining, Indiana got a three-point play by Bryant and a 3-pointer from OG Anunoby to match its biggest lead of the game. A jumper by Ferrell, two free throws by Bryant and a dunk by Bryant pushed the lead to 62-52 at the 4:10 mark and put UK in desperation mode. The Cats clawed back within three down the stretch on a 3-pointer and three free throws by Ulis after being fouled on a trey, but UK could draw no closer.


Bryant was the difference in the game, having his way with UK's inconsistent frontcourt players. The 6-foot-10, 245-pounder went 6-for-8 from the field and 7-of-9 at the line en route to 19 points. He also pulled down five rebounds, had two steals and one blocked shot.


"Let me say this: I spent a lot of time recruiting him. He was right down the street from us, and the biggest thing I want to tell you is his family should be proud of how much better he's gotten. Tom and the staff have gotten a kid that I really liked, I thought was really good. I'm going to be honest, I didn't realize he was that good.." -- UK coach John Calipari on IU's Thomas Bryant.


0 - Points for junior forward Derek Willis in 15 minutes off the UK bench.

1st - John Calipari NCAA Tournament team at UK that did not reach the Elite 8

1st - Game in which Tyler Ulis had more turnovers (4) than assists (3) since the season-opener against Albany on Nov. 13.

2 - Second-chance points for the Cats compared to nine for IU.

3rd - Time Tom Crean has defeated a UK team in the NCAA Tournament, including twice at Marquette.

7 - Biggest lead for the Cats in the first half.


Kentucky heads into the off-season with questions surrounding the future of Ulis, Murray and Skal Labissiere, among others, but have signed yet another No. 1 recruiting class for 2016 and will likely begin the 2016-17 season as one of the preseason favorites.

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