The national semifinals in the 2015 NCAA March Madness basketball tournament took place on Saturday. The Final Four teams, Michigan State, Duke, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, took to the courts in Indianapolis all with hopes of making Monday night’s final. The games are now over and they featured an upset.
In the first game of the day the Duke Blue Devils defeated Michigan State in what was a blowout. The Spartans came out strong in the very early going however after the oepning minutes the game saw a fairly steady onslaught of Duke offence. The final score in the game was 81-61 with Justise Winslow scoring nineteen. Denzel Valentine, despite playing for the losing team, posted very solid numbers as he had a double-double for points and rebounds with 22 and 11 respectively.
In the second game of the day the Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 71-64. Frank Kaminsky, the best player on Wisconsin, lead all scorers with 20 points as the Badgers persevered through what appeared to be pretty shoddy officiating. Noteably a controversial play that involved what may have been a flagrant foul against Kentucky received no such call. Additionally Wisconsin seemed to have hit a three-pointer in the second half, one that got waved off due to what could be called a phantom charge. Perhaps there was some balance in the game however overall I think Wisconsin may have beaten Kentucky by double digits under different circumstances.
The Badgers, many of which were on the 2014 team that lost to Kentucky in the semifinals, have to feel sky-high right now following their win. They appear to be the favorite to win the national championship now following their elimination of what was widely considered the best team in the tournament (odds for the final are pending at time of writing).
Wisconsin and Duke will meet on Monday night from Indianapolis in the final game of the year for NCAA basketball. The Blue Devils will be looking for their first championship since 2010 when they narrowly escaped the Butler Bulldogs. The Badgers, coached by Bo Ryan, will be looking for their first championship since winning their only title way back in 1941.
Look for Kaminsky to continue his dominant play, look for Bo Ryan to deconstruct Duke, and look for the Badgers to claim their first NCAA basketball title since way back in 1941.