Wildcat Defense Stops Cornell
Syracuse, N.Y. -- – The UK-Cornell comparisons can finally come to a rest. After overcoming a slow start to Thursday night's game, the Wildcats took a 62-45 victory over the Ivy League champs in the NCAA East Regional semifinals.
Junior Patrick Patterson says he and his teammates shook off all the David vs. Goliath metaphors.
"It was all talk. The media, we saw it. We laughed at it. But when it came down to it, it's basketball. We went on the court and we respect them as a basketball team just like they respect us. And we went on the court, shook hands and we just played and forgot about everything."
The Wildcats trailed 10-2 in the opening minutes of the game, before turning on a stifling defense that limited Cornell to just 5-of-21 in three-point shots.
UK will next play number-two seed West Virginia on Saturday for a spot in the Final Four. It will be the only 1 vs. 2-seed match-up in this year's NCAA basketball tournament.
"We're playing against an outstanding team, a Hall of Fame coach," Kentucky Coach John Calipari said. "They have an injury, which meant everybody on their team just played better, which I knew they would do. You know, it's an opponent that just went through the Big East and Big East Tournament and played well. That means they are battle tested. It's going to be a very difficult game for us to win.
The West Virginia Mountaineers earned their spot in the Elite Eight with a 69-56 win over Washington.