ST. LOUIS — John Calipari stood frozen on the Kentucky sideline. Every player on the Wichita State bench held his breath. Everything seemed to stop inside the Scottrade Center as Fred VanVleet let loose with a 3-pointer that could have kept the Shockers perfect.
When it bounced harmlessly off the rim, everything was set in motion once again.
Calipari spontaneously leaped into the air, bad hip and all, as the eighth-seeded Wildcats poured off their bench to celebrate their 78-76 victory over the Midwest Region’s top seed.
The boys from Wichita State (35-1) slumped to their seats, their faces buried in their jerseys.
‘‘I've been doing this so long. I’ve been in wars,’’ Calipari said. ‘‘You all understand this was an Elite Eight game. The winner of this should have gone to the Final Four.’’
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