MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade has returned Marquette to its glory days.
Wade collected 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the third-seeded Golden Eagles snapped Kentucky's 26-game winning streak and moved into the Final Four for the first time since 1977 with an 83-69 victory in the Midwest Region final.
Wade, a junior guard who was lightly recruited four years ago out of the Chicago area, was named Most Outstanding Player of the region after another high-flying exhibition. He notched his first career triple-double, two days after scoring 20 second-half points against Pittsburgh.
"I was just going to give it my all and leave nothing on the court," Wade said. "Once I got going, my teammates did a great job of finding me. And once anybody gets going, they are tough to guard."
Marquette (27-5) used a 28-7 tear to establish control in the first half and led by as many as 21 points. The Golden Eagles took a 45-26 advantage into halftime.
Kentucky (32-4) climbed within 59-47 on Antwain Barbour's dunk and had a chance to get closer when Barbour scored on a spinning drive near the midway point of the second half. But Barbour was called for a questionable offensive foul, stifling the Wildcats' momentum.
Scott Merritt scored inside for Marquette and Wade followed with the game's signature play. He took a feed from Travis Diener on a fast break and threw down a one-handed jam while being fouled by Marquis Estill. Wade screamed joyously after the dunk and his free throw made it 64-47 with just over nine minutes left.
"We didn't have an answer for Wade," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.
The Golden Eagles will meet Kansas on April 5 in New Orleans and are two wins from duplicating the accomplishment of Al McGuire's 1977 squad.
"It's a great feeling," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "I can't describe it. I just know that we feel great and I'm unbelievably excited for this team."
The Wildcats suffered their first loss since a defeat to another Conference USA squad, Louisville, on December 28.
Keith Bogans, playing on a sprained left ankle, scored 15 points in a gutty effort in his final game for Kentucky. His mobility was affected noticeably as he had trouble making hard cuts.
"Just by being out there, I was trying to show my teammates how badly I wanted to play," said Bogans, the fourth-leading scorer in school history. "It meant a lot to me to be out there playing this game."
The Golden Eagles are the first Final Four school from outside the six major conferences (Big East, Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10) since Utah reached the title game in 1998.
Wade made all seven shots in the second half, when he scored 18 points. He had four second-half dunks, using a variety of techniques to throw it down.
"He's a great player and we couldn't contain him," Bogans said. "We knew we had our hands full."
While Wade carried the attack, he had plenty of help. Robert Jackson had a double-double by halftime and finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while the heady Diener handed out seven assists.
"I think this was Dwyane's best performance and Robert Jackson's as well," Diener said. "Those two guys put on a show for the fans and it was an honor to be on the team and not playing against them."
The Wildcats took a 14-10 lead on Erik Daniels' three-point play with just over 12 minutes left. Marquette ripped off eight straight points and grabbed an 18-14 lead on Karon Bradley's 3-pointer.
Wade scored four points and Diener drained a 3-pointer to finish a 10-0 run that built the cushion to 32-19. Freshman Steve Novak drained back-to-back 3-pointers for a 38-21 bulge with 3:10 left before halftime.
Jackson's inside hoop gave Marquette its largest lead at 45-24 with 36 seconds left. Kentucky shot just 26 percent (8-of-31) in the first half.
Wade made an amazing play in the first half when he blocked the 6-9 Estill, took off on a fast break and had a reverse layup goaltended for a 26-19 lead.
"I did get the baseline a lot today," Wade said. "I just took whatever they gave me tonight, and it worked for me."
"Dwyane Wade is a complete player," Crean said. "He is very unselfish, a complete basketball player. And he's that kind of person."
The Wildcats started stronger in the second half but were unable to stop the Golden Eagles. Marquette shot 56 percent (31-of-55), a season high for a Kentucky opponent. The 83 points were the most allowed by the Wildcats since December 30.
Jackson got the best of Estill, who scored a career-high 28 points in Thursday's win over Wisconsin. Estill had just 10 and fellow frontcourt member Chuck Hayes fouled out in 17 scoreless minutes.
"He's a big, strong, physical guy," Estill said. "Things just went his way. He was able to get inside and get some easy baskets."
Novak drained five 3-pointers and scored 16 points. He drilled three 3-pointers in overtime in Marquette's second-round victory over Missouri.
"Steve is the best shooter I've seen," Diener said. "He's 6-10 and he can flat-out shoot the ball."
The Golden Eagles also were lifted by a crowd full of Marquette followers wearing blue and yellow. The lower deck close to the court had mostly Golden Eagles' fans, with a few pockets of Kentucky supporters.
"For Marquette, it was a huge crowd," Smith said. "Both games were more or less away games for us because of the crowds. As a No. 1 team, it is something you have to deal with. That made it much tougher to contain Wade."
Gerald Fitch scored 15 points for Kentucky, which shot 39 percent (25-of-64). The Wildcats were just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc.