Kentucky took time out.
"They had a foul to give and we knew they would foul us," said Calipari. It came with 10 seconds left. That left time for a pass in, a handoff, a fumble, a step back and the game-winner.
There were other things less dramatic that put the Wildcats in position to win. A 35-24 rebounding edge was one of them, though the Wolverines actually had 23 second chance points to 17 for the winners.
But Kentucky outscored Michigan 46-36 in the paint and 18-11 off the bench.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was a stat that finished even — 3-pointers. Both teams hit seven but it took Michigan 18 tries to net seven, but it took Kentucky just 11.
Kentucky had four players score in double figures topped by Julius Randle with 16 points. James Young had 13 and Marcus Lee 10.
Michigan's Stauskas had a game-high 24 points and Glenn Robinson III added 14.
"This was a great basketball game," said Beilein. "Even the people in the highest seats got their money's worth. Give credit to Kentucky. They hit big shots when they had to."
Calipari was almost impressed with the game play. "They weren't going to go away and we weren't either," he said.
The Wolverines ended their season at 28-9 and capped a bad day for the state in the NCAA tournament as Michigan State dropped a decision to UConn just before the tipoff in Indianapolis.
Kentucky will move on with a 28-10 mark.