Indiana's freshman star, Cody Zeller, had 20 points, while Oladipo provided a spark in the backcourt with 15 before fouling out. Kidd-Gilchrist just kept pounding the ball inside, drawing foul after foul on the Hoosiers, then knocking down the free throws. He went 10-for-10 at the line.
He wasn't the only one making free throws. Kentucky was a deadeye 35-of-37 at the line, compared to 13-of-17 for the Hoosiers.
"We were always playing uphill," Crean said. "We had some guys playing on fumes. That game took a lot out of everybody, no question about that."
Calipari shrugged off any suggestion that his team might be a little tired after such a run-and-gun game in the regional semifinals.
"When you're playing at this time of the year, you've got more energy than you need," the coach said. "This team is in great shape."
In Baylor's win, Quincy Acy picked up the slack for his roommate. The 6-foot-7 senior had a double-double on a lackluster night for sharpshooting Brady Heslip.
"I think I got a little of that magic from him," Acy said.
The Baylor post players were not double-teamed most of the game and Acy took advantage of it to the tune of 20 points and 15 rebounds. Perry Jones III added 14 points.
Heslip, coming off his career-high 27 points on nine 3-pointers in Baylor's second-round win over Colorado, made only one against Xavier. He finished with 11 points. But Acy had his back, throwing down several dunks and adding a few jump shots that surprised Xavier coach Chris Mack.
"He's a cage-rattler," Mack said. "I never saw him hit a 15-foot jump shot, and he does that in the first four minutes of the game."
In the final minute, Acy knocked down a couple of free throws to help seal the victory, again leaving the Bears (30-7) on the brink of the Final Four. They also won three NCAA tournament games in 2010 before losing to eventual national champion Duke.
Wearing bright neon-green uniforms, the Bears led by 18 points less than 8 minutes into the game. Xavier (23-13) played from behind all night, but never quit. Tu Holloway led the Musketeers with 22 points, but they were hurt by poor shooting, especially from beyond the arc.
Xavier went 0-for-11 on 3-pointers before Justin Martin ended the drought with 2 minutes remaining.
"Unfortunately," Xavier's Kenny Frease said, "when you get down that much to a team like Baylor, a lot of times you're not going to be able to come out of it, and today we couldn't."
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963
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