MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Kentucky will continue its run for a national championship but may be severely shorthanded.
Marquis Estill scored a career-high 28 points and picked up the slack for the injured Keith Bogans as the top-seeded Wildcats posted their 26th straight victory, 63-57 over No. 5 Wisconsin in the semifinals of the Midwest Region.
Kentucky (32-3) rode the inside dominance of Estill to its first regional final appearance since 1999. But the Wildcats played the entire second half without leading scorer Bogans, who suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first half and did not return.
His status is questionable for Saturday's regional final against Marquette.
"We feel good about the win," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "After we lost Keith Bogans and we weren't really getting our shots to drop early in the game, we kept our composure and found a way to win."
Wisconsin (24-8), which led by as many as seven points in the first half, climbed within 56-55 on Mike Wilkinson's inside basket with 1:34 remaining. Kentucky went to Estill, who missed a short hook shot, but Erik Daniels tipped it in for a three-point edge.
Wilkinson traveled with 49 seconds to go, and Estill made 1-of-2 at the line 17 seconds later. Wilkinson went to the line with 23 seconds to go and sealed his team's fate by missing a pair of foul shots.
All Bogans could do down the stretch was stand and cheer his teammates, hoping that they would continue his career. Bogans, who is fourth on the school's all-time scoring list, looked OK jumping around watching the game's final moments.
"He was our biggest cheerleader over there, screaming and hollering," Daniels said. "That is good in a leader when he is not playing, when he is showing support for you."
With Bogans limited to five points in 15 minutes, no other Wildcat reached double figures. Daniels scored nine points and Gerald Fitch added seven. Bogans averages 16 points per game.
Bogans was defending Wisconsin's Kirk Penney when Penney lost the ball and crashed into Bogans with 3:32 left before halftime. Bogans appeared to land awkwardly on his left foot.
"I was down low in the post and made an up-and-under move," Penney said. "I kind of went into him and I think he fell awkwardly."
"We know it's a high ankle sprain," Smith said. "They took an X-ray, so there's no crack or anything of that nature. It's just something he's going to have to get treatment on and hopefully he'll be ready on Saturday."
Estill's onslaught was relentless. He made 12-of-18 shots and helped get Wilkinson and Badgers reserve Dave Mader in foul trouble. The 6-11 Mader was forced into action and finished with four fouls in just five minutes.
"We knew they liked to front the post and I was able to get the ball," Estill said. "My teammates did a great job getting me the basketball."
Kentucky held a 40-14 advantage in points in the paint thanks to Estill. Chuck Hayes grabbed seven rebounds to help the Wildcats to a 33-26 edge on the glass.
"We tried to make him (Estill) do some different things, but he's stronger and bigger with what he does than we were to stop him," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "His hands are pretty good."
The Wildcats also put the clamps on the Penney in the second half. Penney scored 17 of his 20 points over the first 20 minutes, but managed only three shots the rest of the way.
"I felt the rest of the team was getting good looks, so there wasn't a need to force it," Penney said. "In hindsight, maybe I would have liked more looks."
Estill had a pair of easy baskets to start the game before Kentucky's offense cooled down. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Penney gave Wisconsin a 12-6 lead, and a shot from beyond the arc by Boo Wade made it 15-8 with 11:19 left in the first half.
The inside work of Estill allowed Kentucky to stay close. It ended the half with six straight points for a 32-28 advantage. Estill's layup with over 14 minutes left gave the Wildcats the lead for good at 42-40 and triggered an 8-2 burst.
Hayes followed with a steal and a dunk. Jules Camara's basket at the 10:34 mark provided the biggest lead to that point for Kentucky, 48-42.
"We were very patient and we liked to try and work the ball around, because we were playing one of the best defensive teams in the country in Wisconsin," Smith said. "I was very impressed and pleased with our patience and our ball movement, especially down the stretch."
Cliff Hawkins had four steals and Hayes added three for the Wildcats, who have held their last six opponents below 65 points. Kentucky converted 15 turnovers into 21 points.
Devin Harris scored 15 points and Wilkinson scored all 13 of his in the second half for Wisconsin, which needed Freddie Owen's 3-pointer in the final seconds to move past Tulsa in the second round. Owens missed all five 3-pointers on Thursday and finished with just two points.
Kentucky improved to 31-6 in domed stadiums since 1995.