Wisconsin punches their ticket to championship

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — For 38 games top-ranked Kentucky mastered the art of the tune-out, brushing aside the hype, noise and distractions created by its pursuit of an unbeaten championship season.

The Wildcats just couldn’t succeed at blocking out Wisconsin and big man Frank Kaminsky, who won 71-64 Saturday night to turn their dream season into a devastatingly sour footnote.

Hoping to become the first team since Indiana in 1976 to finish as unbeaten champions, Kentucky (38-1) instead lost the rematch of last year’s semifinal against the Badgers and joined Indiana State (1979), UNLV (1991) and Wichita State (2014) — unbeaten teams that lost in the NCAA Tournament.

The fortitude and good fortune that helped Kentucky overcome several stiff challenges this season were absent against the determined Badgers (36-3), who made shots and grabbed the rebounds that the Wildcats couldn’t.

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