Cleveland — Here’s all you need to need to know about Kentucky’s demolition of West Virginia: The Wildcats could have gone scoreless the second half and won by five.
Wait, I lied. Here’s one more: Karl-Anthony Towns, considered the most gifted Wildcat and possibly the No. 1 pick in the June NBA draft, scored his one and only point with 6:40 remaining. It increased Kentucky’s lead to 37 points.
OK, I lied again. A couple of more nuggets. The game got so lopsided so soon — it was 18-2 at the second media timeout, 44-18 at the half, 78-39 when mercifully it ended — that the Wildcats had to find ways to amuse themselves. Andrew Harrison authored the play of the game by driving hard on a fast break, twirling the ball behind his back and then flipping it over his head off the board and into the hoop. While getting fouled.
But even that wasn’t the most outrageous sequence of Victory No. 37. That came inside the final two minutes when the 6-foot-10 forward Trey Lyles sought to throw a lob to the 5-9 Tyler Ulis. The little man’s layup missed, but still: How was that for chutzpah?
There’s nothing else to say. West Virginia couldn’t force enough turnovers (only 10) to give itself even a ghost of a chance against mighty Kentucky, and now the Wildcats are within three games of their goal — the first undefeated NCAA championship since Indiana in 1976.
They’ll play Notre Dame for the Midwest Regional title, and yes, Notre Dame has a shot. Provided it makes a slew of jump shots. Provided it gets ahead early and makes the favorite sweat. Provided it can play the best 40 minutes since Villanova against Georgetown in 1985. If not, forget it.
Further reading: In an upset, Notre Dame runs past Wichita State.