Kentucky Answers Daxter Miles Jr. With Blowout to Move to 37-0 | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / May 28.
  • Kentucky Answers Daxter Miles Jr. With Blowout to Move to 37-0

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    Daxter Miles Jr. may want to think twice before he ever calls out Kentucky again.

    In the wake of Miles Jr. predicting that Kentucky would be 36-1 following their Sweet 16 matchup with West Virginia — and throwing gas on the fire by saying Kentucky doesn’t play hard — the No. 1 Wildcats destroyed the No. 5 Mountaineers, 78-39, to improve to 37-0 and advance to an Elite 8 Midwest Region matchup with Notre Dame Saturday in Cleveland (TBS, 8:49 p.m.).

    Kentucky is now three wins from a perfect 40-0 season and their second NCAA title since 2012.

    This is Kentucky’s fifth trip to the Elite 8 in the last six seasons.

    Miles, a 6-3 freshman guard from Baltimore, finished 0-for-3 for zero points and 1 rebound.

    “They played good,” Miles, who apparently went all Marshawn Lynch in the locker room afterwards, said according to Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal. “They played great. We didn’t play to our best. They just played great.”

    On a night when projected top-2 pick Karl-Anthony Towns managed just 1 point and 2 rebounds while battling foul trouble, Trey Lyles went for 14 points and 7 rebounds, Andrew Harrison had 13 points and Dakari Johnson, Devin Booker and Aaron Harrison scored 12 apiece. Willie Cauley-Stein added 8 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.

    Andrew Harrison told the Courier-Journal he didn’t feel badly at all for Miles: “Of course not. He shouldn’t have said it, really.”

    “It’s tough,” Cauley-Stein said. “It’s tough to talk and not be able to show or back it up.”

    CBEsEFTUQAEYIEk.jpg-largeMeantime, Aaron Harrison appeared to dislocate a finger on his left hand at the 16:38 mark and went to the locker room in obvious pain. But he returned later in the half with his finger wrapped.

    Kentucky raced out to an 18-2 lead to start the game and led 44-18 at halftime, at which point Kentucky coach John Calipari said on air, “They’re a team that could come back.”

    They never did and Kentucky cruised to victory.

    Earlier, ACC tournament champion Notre Dame beat Wichita State 81-70 to improve to 32-5.

    Demetrius Jackson went for 20 points for the Irish, Pat Connaughton had 16  and Steve Vasturia and Zach Auguste 15 apiece.

    “We are ready for whoever we got,” Vasturia said. “It was great to get this win and we are ready for Saturday.”

    The win by the Irish spoiled the chance of a rematch of last year’s game between Kentucky and then-unbeaten Wichita State.

    “Yeah I think we came in here with the same confidence as we’ve had all year,” Vasturia said. “We might’ve been overlooked going into the ACC season and this tournament, and we’ve played with that confidence and we played a great game today. ”

    Kentucky remains at even odds to win the NCAA Tournament.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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