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Kentucky363874
Wisconsin403373
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73


Kentucky (28-10) vs. Wisconsin (30-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, April 5, 8:49 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: AT&T Stadium (77,122) -- Arlington, Texas. Television: TBS. NCAA Tournament Record: Kentucky 115-46, Wisconsin 29-18. Series Record: Kentucky leads, 3-1.

GAME NOTES: The Kentucky Wildcats have made an improbable run to their 16th Final Four, and they will tangle with the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday night for the right to play for the national championship.

As the No. 8 seed out of the Midwest Region, Kentucky's road to Arlington, Texas hasn't been an easy one. Coach John Calipari's club opened NCAA Tournament action with a 56-49 win over Kansas State, and followed that with a 78-76 triumph against previously undefeated and No. 1 seed Wichita State. A rematch (from earlier this season) with intrastate rival and defending national champ Louisville resulted in a 74-69 victory, and then came a 75-72 thriller versus Michigan in last Sunday's Elite Eight matchup.

The last three teams the Wildcats have faced were all part of the 2013 Final Four.

Overall, Kentucky has won six of its last seven games, the lone loss coming in the SEC Tournament title tilt to Florida (61-60), and the Wildcats bring an impressive 115-46 NCAA Tournament record into this contest. UK, which is actually appearing in its third Final Four in the last four years, has played in 11 national championship games, winning eight of them. The 'Cats last raised the trophy in 2012 when they beat Kansas, 67-59.

Wisconsin is appearing in its third Final Four, the first since 2000, and this is coach Bo Ryan's first trip to the national semifinals after winning four Division III national crowns while at UW-Platteville. Ryan's Badgers, the No. 2 seed out of the West Region, have made the NCAA Tournament in each one of Ryan's 13 years at the helm, and they punched their ticket to the Final Four by taking out American University (75-35), Oregon (85-77), Baylor (69-52) and top-seeded Arizona (64-63, OT) in succession.

Wisconsin, which has one national title to its credit (1941), has a NCAA Tournament record of 29-18, and the team has won 13 of its last 15 games overall -- the two losses coming to Big Ten foes Nebraska and Michigan State, the latter of which occurred in the conference tournament championship game.

Kentucky owns a 3-1 series advantage over Wisconsin, and this is the first meeting between the two since the Wildcats claimed a 63-57 win during the 2003 Sweet 16.

Kentucky is a very young team, starting five freshmen including the star of last Sunday's win over Michigan, guard Aaron Harrison. He was asked after the game about what it takes to knock off the No. 1, 2 and 4 seeds en route to the Final Four.

"We showed a lot of toughness. We're just a group of tough, young guys, doesn't matter about the age or anything anymore. We just try to go out and fight and keep our heads down and swing the whole game, and we just fight so hard."

Aaron Harrison went scoreless for more than three-fourths of the game against Michigan, but got hot late as he nailed four 3-pointers in the last eight minutes, including the game-winner with only seconds remaining in regulation. In addition to Harrison's 12 points, Julius Randle (16 points, 11 rebounds), James Young (13 points) and Marcus Lee (10 points, eight boards) all finished in double figures. The team as a whole drained 53.4 percent of its field-goal attempts, which included a stellar 7-of-11 showing from beyond the arc. A 35-24 edge on the glass certainly aided the cause, as the game was hotly- contested throughout.

Randle, who logged his national-best 24th double-double in the Michigan game, was named a Third-Team All-American by the AP as he is averaging 15.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He is the fifth UK freshman coached by Calipari to receive All-America accolades. Other double-digit scorers for the Wildcats include Young (14.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Aaron Harrison (14.1 ppg) and Andrew Harrison (11.0 ppg, 3.9 apg). Leading shot blocker Willie Cauley-Stein (106 blocks, 6.1 rpg) is nursing an ankle injury, and is listed as doubtful this weekend.

Wisconsin had its own star in the West Regional final against Arizona, as 7- foot junior Frank Kaminsky logged a double-double consisting of a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds. Despite shooting a mere 4-of-14 from the floor, Traevon Jackson was the only other Badger to reach double digits in scoring, as he tallied 10 points, while also handing out five assists. As a collective unit, UW hit just 39.3 percent of its total shots. although it went 4-of-6 from the field in the overtime period to help secure the thrilling one-point victory.

Kaminsky (14.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 64 blocks), who leads the team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots for the season, was asked after the Arizona game to describe his emotions.

"I can't explain it, actually. This is like nothing else I've ever felt before. We've all played basketball our whole lives and we've all dreamed of going to the Final Four. To actually accomplish that is something I can't put into words."

In addition to the effort put forth by Kaminsky, Ben Brust (12.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Sam Dekker (12.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Jackson (10.7 ppg, 4.0 apg) have all produced at different times for a team that is scoring more this season (73.5 ppg) than it has in the recent past, while also playing the kind of solid defense (63.7 ppg) typically associated with a Ryan-coached squad.

Kentucky is playing with house money at this point, and you can bet Calipari will have his young, athletic squad going for broke. As for Wisconsin, it plays fundamentally sound basketball, making very few mistakes, while capitalizing on the miscues turned in by its opponent.

Expect the Badgers to prevail in another close game, affording them the opportunity to play for the national title on Monday night.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 69, Kentucky 67

04/05 10:33:56 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
1:05pm Today
STL
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
WAS
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
DET
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
CWS
 
3:05pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
3:05pm Today
MIL
LOS
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
SFG
 
3:05pm Today
LOS
SEA
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
COL
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
OAK
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
PIT
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
Final
POR 94
DAL 75
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
MIA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
SAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRK
PHO
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
 
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 70
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Thursday
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
 
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
 
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
 
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
 
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
 
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
 
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
Final
DRAK 50
BRAD 52
 
Final
LBSU 69
CSNO 58
 
Final
UCI 68
CSFU 62
 
Final
UCD 61
UCR 59
 
2nd
ARST 58
STAN 54
 
Final
WASU 59
UTAH 67
 
12:00pm Today
MVSU
ARKPB
 
12:00pm Today
CSOU
LONG
 
1:05pm Today
WICHS
SILL
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
3:35pm Today
ILLST
EVAN
 
6:00pm Tonight
HIGH
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCG
SAMF
 
6:00pm Tonight
ELON
TOWS
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
BGU
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMICH
CMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
CLMB
 
7:00pm Tonight
PRIN
CORN
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
ILLCH
 
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
TOL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NIOWA
BRAD
 
7:30pm Tonight
MURST
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
HARV
YALE
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
 
8:30pm Tonight
CITA
FUR
 
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
 
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
 
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
 
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
 
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
 
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
Final
FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
Final
ARI 3
VAN 2
3rd Intermission
LOS 3
MON 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT