Fans celebrate win over Wichita State

South region No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee will battle No. 4 seed Butler on Saturday in Milwaukee.    
   Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Second-seeded Kentucky defeated Wichita State 65-62 on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Malik Monk was the nail in the coffin on Wichita State's second-to-last possession, with the Shockers down by one as the final minute of the game ticked down.

Kentucky Basketball got timely contributions from several players to pull out the win.

Kentucky moves on to the Sweet 16 to play on Friday in Memphis, hoping the birthplace of Rock n' Roll gives Kentucky a berth to the Elite Eight, and possibly the Final Four and beyond.

With Oregon's season on the brink of an early NCAA Tournament exit, Brooks found his shooting stroke as he typically does and scored 19 points despite a 7-for-20 shooting day. But behind Thornwell's outside shooting and Silva's dominance underneath, SC rallied to win two NCAA games for the first time in 44 years.

Down the stretch, the Wildcats showcased the gap between a scrappy, blue-collar squad like Wichita State and a team with three potential first-round picks in this summer's National Basketball Association draft as they fed the freshman big man. Center Bam Adebayo scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half.

At this time next year, Bam Adebayo, De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk will be in the final games of their National Basketball Association rookie seasons.

Percentages: FG.387, FT.667. 3-Point Goals: 8-24, .333 (Brown 2-3, Frankamp 2-6, Shamet 2-7, Reaves 1-1, McDuffie 1-6, Nurger 0-1).

North Carolina led by 17 points after a dominating start, blew that lead and trailed 65-60 with about 3½ minutes left then came up with a response befitting its veteran experience. The Wildcats were led by Fox and Monk with 14 each. That put the Cats up 63-59 and provided what were ultimately the winning points of the game. Nick Ward also finished in double figures with 13 points and Joshua Langford had 10 for the Spartans.

Wichita State survived poor shooting in the first half to trail 26-24. The ball landed in Monk's hands, he was fouled, and the potential lottery pick drilled two free throws to put the Wildcats up by three.

"It was great to have Malik back", Calipari said.

Kentucky will play either No. 3 UCLA or No. 6 Cincinnati next Friday in Memphis. "Haven't seen him for awhile".

It was 54-48 when Shamet drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing to slice the deficit in half with 5:41 remaining. With star-studded rosters this game had all the feels of a Final Four matchup and came down to the final possession. And if we get a break or two, and another shot goes down, maybe we're advancing, maybe we win the whole thing. "This will just be more fuel for us".

"We were playing straight up defense", Monk said.

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