Kentucky’s dream ended in the Sweet 16 of MARK MADNESS, an NCAA Tournament computer game.
Illinois rallied from 10 points behind and defeated the Wildcats 84-83 in a game that featured 12 lead changes.
Kentucky was leading 51-41 with 17 minutes to play but couldn’t stretch out the advantage. The game was tight to the end but Kofi Coffman’s clutch baskets won it for the Big Ten Illini.
Immanuel Quickley did his part, pouring in 26 points. Tyrese Maxey scored 18 and Ashlton Hagans and Nick Richards each scored 12. But it wasn’t enough despite shooting 54 percent from the field. Illinois held a 31-24 rebounding advantage and UK had only five offensive rebounds.
Richards, the 7-foot junior, failed to pull down even one rebound in 21 minutes of playing time.
Cockburn scored 21 for Illinois, which faced Marquette in the East Region final and defeated the Warriors 71-64 to reach the Final Four.
Joining Illinois are Creighton (Midwest), Auburn (South) and Gonzaga (West).
Scores through the Elite Eight are below. The Final Four will be played later.
East No.3 seed Kentucky overwhelmed East Tennessee State 87-57 in the second round of the MARK MADNESS NCAA Tournament. The Cats are headed to the Sweet 16.
EJ Montgomery scored 17 and Nick Richards collected 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead five in double figures. The game was never in doubt as the third-seeded Wildcats became the highest seed remaining in the East bracket.
Top-seeded Dayton and No. 2 seed Villanova were both stunned. Marquette defeated Dayton 69-59 and Illinois shocked Villanova 70-63.
Kentucky will play Illinois in the Sweet 16 game.
The Cats were a sizzling 58 percent from the fiel and held a whopping 37-28 rebounding advantage. Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Keion Brooks Jr. scored 11 apiece.
Kentucky led 49-27 at the half.
Elsewhere in the tournament, top overall seed Kansas crushed USC 80-42, Duke defeated WVU 81-63, and Rutgers upset high-scoring and second-seeded San Diego State, 63-60.
Below is a complete list of second-round scores and the schedule for the Sweet 16.
(Games are being played through Dave Koch Sports computer game. It’s computer vs. computer except for Kentucky when I’m stepping in for Coach Cal.)
With the help of a computer game, Dave Koch Sports, the 2020 NCAA Tournament is being played on Holt Street in Ashland, Kentucky.
It’s computer vs. computer except when Kentucky plays and that’s when yours truly becomes Coach Cal. The Cats were a No. 3 seed in an East bracket where Dayton was No. 1 and Villanova was No. 2.
Kentucky was matched against Hofstra in the opening round and came away with a 61-48 victory. Nick Richards had two fouls in the first 45 seconds and was rendered ineffective. The Cats still led most of the way and looked like they might pull away, but then Hofstra fought back to keep it close (sound familiar?) before falling.
UK’s Immanuel Quickley scored 13 and Tyrese Maxey added 10. Ashton Hagans, the game MVP, had nine points and eight assists. UK shot only 38 percent and went 2-for-12 on 3-pointers – a bad overall shooting game. But the Cats defended well and especially on the 3-point line, where Hofstra was 3-for-21.
Quickley was hot early, scoring nine, as Kentucky took a 22-7 lead, matching the largest margin in the game. The Cats maintained a double-figure advantage most of the game.
Kentucky plays 11th seed East Tennessee in the second round. The Bucs shocked No. 3 seeded BYU 90-76.
Elsewhere in the tournament, Bradley stunned Louisville 89-81, North Texas shocked Seton Hall 74-67, Texas Tech pummeled defending champion Virginia 71-39. Akron upset Ohio State 82-74 and West Virginia edged Indiana 74-73.
In the SEC, Auburn advanced but LSU and Florida both fell in the opening round.
Looks like MARK MADNESS has as many surprises as they real thing. Tune in tomorrow for the second-round games.