Kentucky had to get only 1
though when everything was said and done, and Kentucky had escaped another difficult challenge with a 62-58 victory, Washington was the one to provide the spark with 16 points to 6 out of 8 shooting in unexpected 26 minutes of action outside the bench. He began with a fantastic jumper for two Cougars with his first touch, an early harbinger of a long night in the defense of Houston:
Washington had the low block against the Cougars, throwing two hands traffic jams and various jump hooks, including one with 55 seconds that left Kentucky within one point at 58-57:
He also helped create the most important Wildcats game in the game across the floor shortly thereafter with a massive block of Houston Cori Davis Jr., who led to Tyler Hero's stand, putting Kentucky on 60-58 for another 26 seconds; would not allow Houston to score again.
But it was not all good; after the match, Washington admitted that foot trauma had flared during the cut of Houston's defense, telling reporters that the trauma "had started to hurt in the second half, but I just survived. I'm definitely going back to healing afterwards and relaxing well. "
This is not exactly what you want to hear from your star player, especially when the SEC tournament champions are waiting in the next round: after Connor sent North Carolina to Sweet 16, the Midwest region has finals for all SEC for place in the Final Four. Of course, Connor will be injured in his own star, as leadback Chuma Okeke had a bad knee injury which Auburn's fears would be serious enough to protect him from the rest of the tournament, if not longer
If Washington can bring such energy on Sunday, as it did on Friday, perhaps with a little less suffering, it will not matter who will stand on the other side. SEC's first team is strong enough and Wildcats rely on him so much that his return can push them not only into the Final Four but also to the 2012 Kentucky National Championship