Arizona had its top eight players back from the championship team. Kentucky, which was trying to repeat as NCAA champions last March, had two starters back and a new coach, Tubby Smith, who replaced Rick Pitino, who left for the Boston Celtics.
This time, Arizona wasted no time taking control of the game. After two early ties, the last at 4-4, the Wildcats ripped off a 10-point run with Mike Bibby placing an exclamation point on the spurt with a thunderous slam dunk.
During the stretch, he scored seven points and by halftime, he had 15.
Bibby finished with 20 points, eight assists and had four of Arizona's 11 steals.
Scott Padgett had 15 points for Kentucky (2-1).
In the other Maui semifinal:
DUKE 82, MISSOURI 59 Trajan Langdon's 16 points led a balanced attack as the No. 3 Blue Devils (4-0) cruised over the Tigers (2-1), who got 15 points and nine rebounds from Kelly Thames.
GEORGIA 96, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 74 At Georgia, the No. 22 Bulldogs (4-1) broke open a close game with an 11-0 run in the second half and coasted over the Eagles. Ray Harrison's 24 points led Georgia.
MARYLAND 117, FLA. INTERNATIONAL 70 At Maryland, Rodney Elliott scored 20 points and Obinna Ekezie added 18 as the the No. 24 Terrapins (3-1) won their 55th straight non-conference home game, a streak that dates back to December 1989.
UTAH 89, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 50 At Los Angeles, Hanno Mottola scored 25 points, shooting 10-for-10 from the field, and helped the No. 16 Utes (4-0) rout the Lions (0-3).
In other news:
ARIZONA STATE: REPORT IRKS FRIEDER Former Arizona State coach Bill Frieder is ``angry, disappointed and hurt'' by reports that two of his players - reported to be Stevin ``Hedake'' Smith and Isaac Burton - will be indicted in connection with a point-shaving scandal.
Frieder, who resigned Sept. 10 after eight seasons at Arizona State, said he is cooperating with an FBI investigation into alleged point-shaving during the 1993-94 season.
ABC News, CNN-SI and the Arizona Republic reported that the two are believed to have taken payoffs from Joseph Gagliano Jr., a former trader on the Chicago Board of Trade and investment adviser who is said to have won more than $1 million betting against the Sun Devils.
FRESNO STATE: PLAYER LEAVES Fresno State guard Chris Herren voluntarily left the team, saying he has slipped up in a long-term battle with substance abuse. He had problems with drugs and alcohol as a teenager in Fall River, Mass.