AUSTIN — So much for Duke-Kentucky in the Austin Regional finals.
Blame Blue Devils, though, not bluegrass.
Not long after Duke dropped the ball (22 turnovers to match 22 baskets) against Michigan State on Friday at the Frank Erwin Center, Kentucky held up its end of basketball lineage with a 62-52 victory against Utah.
As a result, second-seeded Kentucky will play fifth-seeded Michigan State in Sunday's regional final, the winner advancing to next weekend's Final Four in St. Louis.
For the record: Kentucky leads the world in all-time tournament appearances, wins and games and semiannual NCAA hoop lessons versus Utah.
Friday marked the sixth time Kentucky has defeated Utah in the tournament since 1993 -- the previous five losses were under former coach Rick Majerus.
First-year Ute Coach Ray Giacoletti got his first taste of Wildcat wrath -- Kentucky shot 61% from the field -- and he didn't seem to enjoy it much.
"Kentucky wore us down," Giacoletti said.
With 4:20 left and Kentucky trying to play out its double-digit lead, Giacoletti, upset with calls that were not going his way, tossed his jacket aside and exposed a gray undershirt drenched in perspiration.
It was that kind of night.
This time, it was supposed to be different against Kentucky.
This time, for the first time in the history of the series, perhaps, Utah boasted the best player on the court in 7-foot center Andrew Bogut.
Kentucky proved, though, that a baker's dozen beats one great player.
Down by eight points with 2:10 left, Utah junior forward Bryant Markson not only missed the first of two free throws, he missed the rim on his first try.
Kentucky (28-5) added the finishing touch when guard Rajon Rondo scored off a beautiful back-cut to make it 57-47.
Bogut then missed two more free throws and Utah ordered the jet engines started for their trip back to Salt Lake City.
Bogut did not dispel notions that he might be the best player in this tournament. He finished with his usual double-double, with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
"We did a fairly good job with Andrew; you never really hold a great player down and he's a great player," Kentucky Coach Tubby Smith said.
Bogut couldn't be stopped, but Kentucky was able to run two tall men at the Australian -- 7-footer Lukasz Obrzut of Poland and 7-3 Shagari Alleyne from the Bronx.
"It was pretty tough," Bogut said. "Obviously, they banged me around."
Kentucky do-it-all forward Chuck Hayes said his team's big men "did everything they can to stop Bogut and made it hard for them."
Bogut was held to 10 points in last week's upset win against Oklahoma but was brilliant with the ball, passing off for seven assists that led to easy baskets.
Friday, Kentucky did not allow Bogut a single assist.
The key, Smith said, was making Bogut catch the ball farther from the basket.
"We made him have to work for shots," Smith said.
Only one other Utah player, Marc Jackson with 10, finished with double-digits in scoring.
Bogut nearly had a double-double at the half with nine points and 10 rebounds, but he seemed to tire a bit in the second half -- for good reason.
Kentucky played 13 players, with Rondo playing the most minutes at 27.
"I've never seen a team play 13 guys in 26 games or more," Giacoletti said. "It's amazing."
By contrast, five Utah players logged 27 or more minutes; Bogut played all 40.
"I'll take the blame, playing these guys too many minutes," Giacoletti said.
Kentucky won despite only two players scoring in double figures. Hayes led the Wildcats with 12 points and Rondo had 10.
Bogut would not say after the game whether he planned to forgo his junior season and make himself available for this year's NBA draft.
"I'm going to do it when I'm totally ready," Bogut said of his decision-making timetable.
Giacoletti offered his own thoughts about the prospect of Bogut turning pro.
"I'd say if he's going to be a top three pick, I'd hug him and wish him the best of luck."
Utah finished at 29-6, with a tournament loss to Kentucky.
And some in the basketball world would muse: So what's new?