No. 1 seed Duke vs. No. 7 seed Michigan State, 5:09 p.m. Saturday (TBS)
The Spartans are the unexpected arrival. Seeded seventh and unranked in the final Associated Press top 25 poll, they powered through a collapsed East Regional bracket with their usual brand of toughness. Michigan State overcame second-half deficits in beating Oklahoma and Louisville, reaching the Final Four for the seventh time under Tom Izzo. This marks the 12th Final Four for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, tying UCLA’s John Wooden for the most by any coach. The Blue Devils’ freshmen, especially Justise Winslow, led the way in the regional title-game victory over Gonzaga. In Duke’s 81-71 regular-season win over Michigan State, Jahlil Okafor dominated the post with 17 points.
No. 1 seed Kentucky vs. No. 1 seed Wisconsin, 7:49 p.m. Saturday (TBS)
The Badgers are back, and once again their semifinal opponent is Kentucky. The matchup marks the third time in NCAA Tournament history that teams that met in the previous year’s semifinal squared off the following year. The last time it happened, UCLA defeated Houston in 1967 and 1968. The Wildcats, 38-0, fought for their lives in the regional final victory over Notre Dame. Andrew Harrison’s two free throws with 6 seconds remaining provided the winning points. Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky scored 29 points, and Sam Dekker added 27 in Wisconsin’s regional final triumph over Arizona.
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To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.