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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kentucky ousted

Huggins, West Virginia in Final Four

Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins, right, and John Wall, second from right, react with teammates during the second half of the East Regional final. West Virginia won, 73-66, Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y.

Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins, right, and John Wall, second from right, react with teammates during the second half of the East Regional final. West Virginia won, 73-66, Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y.

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Kentucky vs. West Virginia

Box score

— Country roads, take me home.

Or better yet, Indianapolis.

It’s almost heaven, West Virginia. Da’Sean Butler and the Mountaineers are off to the Final Four for the first time since 1959.

Joe Mazzulla scored a career-high 17 points in his first start this season, and West Virginia handled a cold-shooting Kentucky team stocked with future NBA players almost from the opening tip for a 73-66 victory in the East Regional final Saturday night.

“It’s something we’ve been preaching,” Butler said. “Not even just two more. Ever since we won our first game. Five more, four more, three more. It doesn’t mean anything unless you win the whole thing.”

Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins, back with his alma mater, is in the Final Four for the first time since taking Cincinnati in 1992. It’s an even longer stretch for West Virginia — Jerry West was the star of the team 51 years ago, and not yet a Hall of Famer or NBA logo.

“The first day I was here, I told them I came back to win a national championship,” Huggins said. “I came back to win it for the university, having played there, and for the great people of our state.”

For freshman sensation John Wall and the young Wildcats (35-3), a scintillating season ended with a clang.

They were awful from three-point range, missing their first 20 attempts and finishing a stunning 4-of-32 (12.5 percent). DeAndre Liggins finally hit a three with 3:29 left to end the drought, but by then it was too late.

West Virginia went the other way, making eight threes in the first half without a two-point basket.

The second-seeded Mountaineers (31-6) used the same aggressive, in-your-face defense that led them to their three previous tournament wins. They closed the lanes, leaving Kentucky’s speedy guards with few chances to penetrate. And they flustered Kentucky’s big men, particularly center DeMarcus Cousins, by collapsing three players into the post once he got the ball.

West Virginia also denied the top-seeded Wildcats easy shots by committing fouls and forcing Kentucky to make free throws, which didn’t happen. The Wildcats went 16-of-29 from the line.

“We made it very difficult for them to see open cutters and just make plays in general,” Butler said.

Kentucky coach John Calipari led his talented team to the regional final in his first season, restoring the Wildcats among college basketball’s elite after several underachieving seasons.

But they showed their inexperience in this one, misfiring all night after using a swarming defense to beat tournament darling Cornell in the round of 16.

Calipari was left staring at the Carrier Dome roof, wondering what he could do. Now, his focus shifts to which Wildcats are coming back.

Wall, who scored 19 points, might be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft if he decides he’s one-and-done at UK. Cousins, another fab freshman, and Patrick Patterson also could bolt the Bluegrass for the NBA. Cousins scored 15 points.

Comments

trader 11 years, 8 months ago

I thought this was a KANSAS University dot com site. If I want to read about the other teams I can go to their websites, the newspapers, ESPN, etc.

Geesh, I sure hope Mizzou does not go to the Final Four next year and I have to read about them on this site.

Fruity22 11 years, 8 months ago

Still paging KY_Cats. Has anybody seen him? He looks as dumb as any K-state fan only 4 times as arrogant and answers to loser if anybody has seen him. "Can't be stopped won't be stopped" just got stopped cold. Calipari still searching for that first final four appearance. Great day of and for college basketball!!!

Seth Peattie 11 years, 8 months ago

where's that UK hooker now? the one that always came on here and ran her mouth about 2000 wins and this year's national champion? well, bye.

UK can SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ryan Shelton 11 years, 8 months ago

Darn! I wanted to be the first to ask about the whereabouts of KY_Cats and his cohorts. Are you out there? We would love for you to poach our website again. Give us your thoughts on your loss last night. They have crows in Kentucky, right?

Robert Brock 11 years, 8 months ago

I am pleased that a team loaded with One-and-Dumbs was eliminated, humiliated, and embarrassed. Take that, Calipari!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dynamitehawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.... from dueling banjos.

dynamitehawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Thought bubbles left to right in the picture, above. "Dang, I'm gonna have to learn how to spell Milwaukee" ... "Ashley Judd's getting kinda fat, but she still got some salad bangin'" .. "psssst! Is that cop behind me looking at me???" ... "You're right, Daniel her butt is big"

Fruity22 11 years, 8 months ago

He made it their with UMass in the 90's as well ralster but that one was also stripped. Something about a fella named world wide wes giving improper benefits to Marcus Camby. Calipari is still in bed with this guy by the way.

milehighhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Schadenfreude never felt so good.

Joel Hood 11 years, 8 months ago

The LJW has issued an APB for KY_Cats1. Characteristics include: - He is known to frequent boards that do not concern him. - He makes outlandish predictions along the nature of trolling. - His criminal history includes - point shaving; racial exclusion; grade fixing; losing money in plainly wrapped packages; associating with other known low-lifes such as John Calisleazy.

This lout was last seen a few days ago running his mouth. Authorities are afraid this criminal will be lost forever once the inevitable cycle of vacated final fours returns to Kentucky. If you see this criminal hanging around this message board, be careful not to engage this low-life - as feeding trolls of this nature sullies the name of reputable basketball programs.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 8 months ago

As true good sports, we as KU Nation, should send the Kentucky fans a sympathy card. It could list these silver linings behind the clouds.

1] Wildcat fans, your eligibilty is safe. Calipari-lead teams only are caught when in the Final Four. Since he will never get you there, you've got nothing to worry about.

2] I'm sure there is another high school senior out there just like the "once in a generation" player, John Wall, who can run the "unbeatable" dribble/drive offense.

3] Ashley Judd is not fat, it's just that her Botox slipped down a little!

4] Coach Cal will only have nice things to say about Kentucky as he accepts the head coach/general manager title in New Jersey this year.

5] There's always next year...maybe you'll get a chance to play Roy Williams and North Carolina in the 2011 N.I.T.

jchief40 11 years, 8 months ago

Serves you right, KY_Cats.

The louder they are the harder they fall

Benjamin Piehler 11 years, 8 months ago

ashley judd isnt hot anymore. she hasnt made a decent movie in over 5 years. im happy to think of her crying over the loss. how can cal top this years recruiting class? and when is he going to coach free throws?

murph 11 years, 8 months ago

I just simply LOVE it. Buh-bye Calisleezy...

jhokfan 11 years, 8 months ago

Calipari is taking quite a beating from the comments on kentucky.com. Some pretty funny anti-wildcat comments as well.

buffalojayhawk9 11 years, 8 months ago

Welp, my bracket has completely imploded. See y'all next year!

dynamitehawk 11 years, 8 months ago

More thought bubbles (the cop behind John Wall)... "Where the hell is that John Wall? Maybe Ashley Judd sat on him... Man her butt is big."

Steve Brown 11 years, 8 months ago

KY Jelly lost oh darn it all.

Baylor got the fix .. CBS needed Dookies.

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 8 months ago

UK is better off...they would've had to vacate that Final Four in due time anyway!!!

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