The highly anticipated showdown between No. 1 Wichita State and No. 8 Kentucky more than lived up to its billing on Sunday, as it was deemed an instant classic.
And Greg Anthony had a front-row seat for it.
Sideline is more like it.
“That was really as good a game as I’ve ever been a part of as a broadcaster, without a doubt. Just (an) unbelievable atmosphere,” the CBS college basketball analyst said on The Morning Show. “A lot of times games are good just because they’re close; that one was really good because it was really well-played and close. So that part of it was a lot of fun. It was a terrific game.”
Kentucky won, 78-76, as Andrew and Aaron Harrison scored 20 and 19 points, respectively, while Julius Randle had a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) to go with six assists. Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker, meanwhile, combined for 51 points for Wichita State.
“You could make the argument that the game we had yesterday should have been a regional final game,” Anthony said. “Those two teams are clearly two of the best in the country, and that part saddened me a little bit.”
Kentucky faces No. 4 Louisville in the Sweet 16 on Friday. These two teams met in the regular season, with Kentucky winning at home, 73-66, three days after Christmas.
Both teams, well, they don’t like each other – and the winner will have a shot at the Final Four.
“It’s going to be brilliant,” Anthony said.
Anthony also called Sunday’s game between No. 1 Kansas and No. 10 Stanford. The Cardinal won, 60-57, despite shooting 0-for-9 from three-point range.
“Johnny Dawkins did an unbelievable job with his game plan,” Anthony said of the Stanford coach. “Those young kids showed a lot of people that basketball is still alive and well west of the Mississippi.”
Andrew Wiggins, on the other hand, had arguably his worst game of the season. He finished with four points on 1-of-6 shooting. He wasn’t assertive, he had no presence and he finished with four turnovers.
“Listen, I think Bill Self is without a doubt one of the best coaches in our game and (is) definitely going to be a future Hall of Famer,” Anthony said. “But I don’t think that they did a good job of putting him in positions to be effective. In all sport, it’s easy to look at the stat line to say what a guy did or did not do. But a lot of your success comes from your coaches putting you in a position to succeed – and I didn’t feel watching that game as it evolved that they did a good job of attacking that zone with him. I thought he should have been at the high post a little more.”
Overall, Kansas shot just 19-of-58 (32.8 percent) from the floor, including 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from three-point range. Conner Frankamp made four of those threes, while his teammates combined to shoot 1-of-9.
Wiggins was 0-of-2.
“He didn’t play well, no doubt about it,” Anthony said. “But they could have helped him have a little bit more impact in that game.”