Bam Adebayo Leads Kentucky Wildcats over Wichita State

Bam Adebayo and Kentucky Wildcats win against Wichita State

Wichita State bows out of the NCAA Tournament after losing a close game against the University of Kentucky Wildcats led by Bam Adebayo.

The Kentucky Wildcats are through to the Sweet 16 after Bam Adebayo helped them get over a tough Wichita State team 65-62. Although not as heralded as the rest of his teammates, Adebayo has nevertheless been this Kentucky team’s glue guy for this season. Against the Shockers, the 6’10” freshman tallied 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 1 steal. His efforts on both ends of the floor allowed the Wildcats to escape with the much-needed win.

A close game through the first half

Like a lot of games this tournament, this one was as close as can be. The first half featured both teams’ focus on defense and ended with a score of 26-24 in favor of the Wildcats. Kentucky relied on Malik Monk who only managed to put up 7 points as the Shockers doubled down on him early. Complementing Monk was De’Aaron Fox who managed only 4 points in the half. As for Wichita State, they managed to keep up with the Wildcats thanks to Shaquille Morris. The junior center was dominant in the first half as he put up 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Kentucky comes up clutch

After a low-scoring first half, both teams started to pick up the pace in the second half. It was Shaquille Morris who again led the Shockers as they wrested the lead from Kentucky. For their part, the Wildcats showed poise and still continued playing behind Bam Adebayo. After scoring only 2 points in the first half, Adebayo showed what he could do in the second. Using his boundless energy, the freshman put up 12 points and 5 rebounds. More importantly, he did such a great job of limiting Morris’ impact on the game.

Even with Morris neutralized, the Shockers were still very much in the game up til the last 2 minutes. A Zach Brown 3-pointer at the 1:51 mark allowed Wichita State to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 2, 61-59. De’Aaron Fox then managed to extend Kentucky’s lead to 4 again with a dunk in the following play. Following this, Landry Shamet managed to hit a 3-pointer that cut the Wildcats’ lead to 1, 63-62. The Shockers could have gotten the lead a couple of plays later but Markis McDuffe’s 3 got blocked by Malik Monk. After the defensive play, Monk then hit two free throws to give Kentucky a 3-point lead with 10 seconds left. Looking to tie things up, the Shockers went to Shamet for a 3-point attempt. Again, the Wildcats defense came through as Bam Adebayo rose up to block the shot and win the ball game.

What’s next for Kentucky?

With the win, Kentucky is now through to the Sweet 16 with a potential match-up with UCLA or Cincinnati. Ideally, the Wildcats would want the Cincinatti match-up since it’s much more manageable for them. However, with the way UCLA has been playing, it’s likely that they’ll end up with the team from California. Against Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf, expect the Wildcats to have a harder time defending. Defensively though, they might be able to stand a chance provided Bam Adebayo plays the same way. With that said, I still think that UCLA will manage to dominate their Sweet 16 match-up. In fact, I think that team has what it takes to go to the Final Four.

Did you watch the Wichita State versus University of Kentucky game? What do you think about Bam Adebayo and his performance? Do you think the Wildcats can continue winning in the Sweet 16? Make sure that you share your thought with us by hitting up the comments section below!

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