For Wichita State, the end of perfection was a classic

Author:
Publish date:
Fred VanVleet's potential game-winning shot with 1.7 seconds left against Kentucky.

Fred VanVleet's potential game-winning shot with 1.7 seconds left against Kentucky.

Round 2, otherwise known as the second half, was when the game elevated itself to classic status. Randle, Kentucky's 260-pound bully of a freshman, only had two points in the first half but exploded for five more in the first 150 seconds of the second. Soon, Wichita's lead was whittled to 40-39. With 16:32 left, they briefly lost their leader, when VanVleet committed a charge in the open court and collapsed to the floor, holding his head, after a collision with Wildcats freshman Aaron Harrison.

Teammates tried to console VanVleet after the miss.

Teammates tried to console VanVleet after the miss.

The ball was in the air, and then it was over. The 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers were safe as the last team to run the table unbeaten. Wichita State finished five wins short, but not without a record-breaking ride, and in its farewell, validation on a national stage in a game no one wanted to end. The Shockers and Kentucky gave us the greatest 40 minutes of this NCAA tournament. The price was history.