ATLANTA — This time, Kentucky didn’t have to suffer on the wrong side of a shocking 3-pointer. Indiana might have stayed close again, but the late-game chance for heroics never arrived.
The Wildcats pulled away late and advanced to the Elite Eight behind a 102-90 win against Indiana Friday night at the Georgia Dome.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist paced the high-scoring Kentucky attack, putting up 24 points.
However, it seemed every time the Wildcats looked ready to stay in front comfortably, the Hoosiers responded.
Cody Zeller was the reason during one run of play, scoring inside on back-to-back possessions to trim it to 82-77 with about five minutes to go.
But Kentucky made 26 of 27 attempted foul shots in the second half to move on.
In the first half, both teams battled through foul trouble.
Just like in the teams’ earlier meeting, Kentucky’s Davis picked up two quick fouls.
On Friday, fellow starters Terrence Jones and Kidd-Gilchrist also got two in the opening half.
On the other side, Indiana star Zeller got two early but didn’t sit out the rest of the half. Three other Hoosiers also had a pair of fouls by halftime.
But the breakneck pace continued as Indiana almost matched Kentucky, trailing only 50-47 at the half.
With Davis playing only six first-half minutes, the deep Wildcats shared scoring duties.
At one stretch, Jones answered a Christian Watford jumper with a slam to push it to 31-22 with 9:55 to go.
But instead of running away from Indiana, the Hoosiers shot their way back, hitting almost 60 percent of their shots in the first half.
Watford – the buzzer-beating hero in Indiana’s 73-72 upset win against the Wildcats back on Dec. 10 – was the main compiler, scoring 17 points in the opening half. One of his baskets even gave Indiana a four-point lead at 43-39.