He who laughs last, laughs best. And nobody will be enjoying Saturday night more than the Wisconsin Badgers players and fans after the Big Ten champions upset the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats 71-64, thus ending Kentucky's bid for perfection.
ESPN's Jayson Stark noted how long Wisconsin has had to wait for another opportunity to win a national championship:
As if simply reaching the national title game wasn't enough for Wisconsin, it got its revenge against the Wildcats, who beat the Badgers at the same stage of last year's NCAA tournament.
Frank Kaminsky had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the victory, with Sam Dekker chipping in 16 points of his own. As a whole, the Badgers out-rebounded Kentucky by 12 and held the Wildcats to just five three-point opportunities.
Wisconsin also closed the game exceptionally well, going on a 15-4 run to secure the triumph, per ESPN Stats & Info:
As you'd expect with such a massive result, social media was abuzz after the game.
CBS Sports' Matt Norlander is already envisioning a flourishing market of apparel and memorabilia celebrating the occasion:
Sports on Earth's Matt Brown joked that the Big Ten is now the epicenter of college sports, between Wisconsin's win and the Ohio State Buckeyes' national championship in college football:
Grantland's Kirk Goldsberry wondered who's actually happier right now: Wisconsin or the Duke Blue Devils, who no longer have to play Kentucky in the national championship:
ESPN's J.A. Adande is a bit disappointed that he won't see the dynamic created by the highly anticipated Duke versus Kentucky matchup anymore:
Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com was one of many wondering how Drake took the defeat:
Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv posted the comments from Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Willie Cauley-Stein after the game:
The Cauldron's Andy Glockner doesn't think one loss wipes out everything Kentucky achieved this year:
Meanwhile, the outlook couldn't be any more different in Madison. The campus police in Wisconsin tweeted that the downtown streets were already beginning to fill up only minutes after the final whistle:
Of course, as Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis pointed out, the Badgers players won't have long to celebrate before they're back on the court:
The national championship is scheduled for Monday night at 9:18 p.m. ET.
The Badgers and Blue Devils met earlier in the year, with Duke earning an 80-70 victory in Madison.