The Kentucky Wildcats and the Michigan Wolverines took the court at Lucas Oil Stadium for a ticket to the Final Four in Dallas, TX. This 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional Final has an intense matchup of contrasting styles, one that the Kentucky Wildcats are hoping to overcome. The opening minutes of the game, however, saw Michigan and their efficient offense take the lead. It was a jumper by Andrew Harrison and a layup by James Young that gave the Wildcats their points, as they trailed 9-4 at the under-16 timeout.
From there, the Wildcats would begin to find their groove and settle into a battle. Marcus Lee, the seldom used reserve, would grab three offensive rebounds and score six points on putbacks as Willie Cauley-Stein’s replacement. Julius Randle would score on a drive to the basket, Alex Poythress would get a nice driving dunk, Andrew Harrison was able to get the and-one on a layup to finish a three-point play, and Dakari Johnson would chip in with another layup. Heading into the under-8 timeout, the Wildcats would trail the Wolverines 22-19.
A run by Michigan gave kentucky fans a scare, as a double digit lead by the Wolverines forced Calipari into a timeout. However, two three-pointers by James Young and a free throw make by Andrew Harrison allowed Kentucky to stay close, trailing 32-26 heading into the final four minutes of the half. The final four minutes saw James Young score on a jumper, Marcus Lee score four more points, Alex Poythress hit a free throw, and Julius Randle score the final four points for the Wildcats. The game would head into halftime all tied up at 37-37.
Stay tuned after the game for a 2nd half recap of the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional Final between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Michigan Wolverines.