KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is no such thing as The Impossible Dream, because Madness is possible even on the last day of March.
And so Auburn, an amazing 77-71 overtime winner over Kentucky, goes to its first Final Four.
Auburn completed the unimaginable trifecta of beating Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky — the latter in the Midwest Region Elite 8 Sunday at Sprint Center — to make history. The Tigers will meet Virginia on Saturday night in a Final Four semifinal game in Minneapolis.
The Tigers were not the same without Chuma Okeke, who will undergo surgery Tuesday for a torn ACL suffered during their upset win over No. 1 North Carolina on Friday night.
Okeke arrived at halftime and sat in a wheelchair behind the Auburn bench. All the poor kid could do was hope and pray.
Sometimes, will beats skill.
The Tigers won it for him and they won it for themselves anyway.
Jared Harper and Bryce Brown combined for 50 points and refused to let Auburn lose. Harper sank a pair of free throws with 24.9 seconds left in OT before PJ Washington drilled a 3 and John Calipari called a timeout with 16.6 seconds left in the extra session.
Ashton Hagans had converted a three-point play after Samir Doughty missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to bring Kentucky within 70-66 and Keldon Johnson’s drive kept the Wildcats within four with 36 seconds left.
Auburn big man had Horace Spencer missed a left-wing 3 before the regulation buzzer and Brown gave him a look that said, “Why?” Spencer fouled out 30 seconds into the overtime.
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