Local connections: Davidson, Wright St. bow out
LaBrae’s Aldridge scores 12 in final college game; Wildcats advance
Hitting a 3-pointer is as routine for a college basketball player as rolling out of bed in the morning. So imagine an entire team — one with Final Four ambitions, no less — going an entire game without making a single one.
And winning anyway.
Fifth-seeded Kentucky all but ignored the arc Thursday night and failed to make a 3 for the first time in nearly 30 years in its 78-73 victory over Davidson in the NCAA Tournament.
The 0-for-6 effort snapped the program’s nation-best streak of 1,047 games with a 3 that began Nov. 26, 1988.
It’s such an overlooked piece of history that not even Wildcats coach John Calipari knew about it until it was pointed out in the postgame news conference.
Reporter: “It’s been 30 years since Kentucky didn’t make a 3.”
Calipari: “Thirty? I was 9 years old.”
Actually, he was 29.
But all kidding aside, Calipari insists his team is not that bad at outside shooting, even if the effort on this night added a few more gray hairs.
“We only took six,” he said. “If we’d taken six more, we would’ve been 6 for 12.”
Kevin Knox led the Wildcats (25-10) with 25 points, as they pulled away after 12th-seeded Davidson (21-12) tied things at 54 with 8:01 remaining.
Davidson made 11 3-pointers, led by six from Jon Axel Gudmundsson, who finished with 21 points. LaBrae High School graduate Peyton Aldridge scored 12 points.
Tennessee 73, Wright State 47
Rick Barnes is now winning NCAA Tournament games with “Rocky Top” in Texas.
With the Tennessee coach back in familiar territory, Admiral Schofield had 15 points and 12 rebounds as the Volunteers opened their first NCAA under Barnesy.
“The biggest thing is we came out and did what we said we were going to do, try to run them out of their offense, and against a great team,” Schofield said.
The Volunteers (26-8) never had much trouble with the Horizon League tournament champ making its first NCAA appearance since 2007, even after missing their first six shots in the game. The Vols led 3-2 when Schofield made a 3-pointer with 16:42 left , and Wright State (25-10) went back ahead on the next possession before Jordan Bowden’s layup put the Vols up for good.
The Vols (26-8) are the No. 3 seed in the South Region. They’ll next face 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago, which edge Miami 64-62 in the final second.
Loudon Love led Wright State with 12 points and nine rebounds. Everett Winchester had 11 points for the Raiders, who shot only 31 percent (19 of 60) in their lowest-scoring game of the season.
Ursuline High School graduate Mark Hughes scored two points and made four assists.“Well, I think it’s kind of the obvious,” Wright State coach Scott Nagy said. “You just can’t play as poorly as we did offensively and win an NCAA game, not against a team like Tennessee.”
Wright State: The Raiders finished the season with 25 wins, their most playing a Division I schedule. They are 0-3 in NCAA Tournament games. ... Love, their 6-foot-9 freshman center, had three fouls in the first half, when he played only 10 minutes.
Tennessee: This is the third different program that Barnes has led to at least one NCAA victory. He also won tournament games at Clemson and Texas. ... It was the Vols’ 14th win away from home this season. .. The 47 points were the fewest Tennessee has allowed in its 41 NCAA Tournament games.