NCAA national semifinal preview: (8) Kentucky vs. (2) Wisconsin

04/04/2014 4:21 PM

04/04/2014 4:21 PM

• WHEN/WHERE:

About 7:49 p.m. Saturday at AT Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

• TV/RADIO:

TBS; WHB (810 AM)

P No. Kentucky Ht. Yr. PPG
F 30 Julius Randle 6-9 Fr. 15.1
F 1 James Young 6-6 Fr. 14.1
C 44 Dakari Johnson 7-0 Fr. 5.1
G 5 Andrew Harrison 6-6 Fr. 11.0
G 2 Aaron Harrison 6-6 Fr. 14.1

• ABOUT KENTUCKY (28-10) :

The Wildcats are riding a 10-game NCAA Tournament winning streak. They won the 2012 title and didn’t make the field last year. It’s been an amazing run with victories over Kansas State, Wichita State, Louisville and Michigan. Kentucky rallied in the second half of the last three games and its average victory margin in the tournament is 4.25 points. That second-half dominance has come in the paint. Kentucky has outscored opponents inside 80-56 in the tournament. Coach John Calipari is making his fourth Final Four appearance in the last seven years, the first one with Memphis in 2008.

P No. Wisconsin Ht. Yr. PPG
F 44 Frank Kaminsky 7-0 Jr. 14.1
F 15 Sam Dekker 6-8 So. 12.4
G 1 Ben Brust 6-1 Sr. 12.8
G 12 Traevon Jackson 6-2 Jr. 10.7
G 21 Josh Gasser 6-3 190 8.9

• ABOUT WISCONSIN (30-7):

The Badgers have been an excellent second-half team in the tournament, outscoring opponents by an average score of 40-26. Seven-footer Frank Kaminsky is a weapon because he can step out and hit the deep shot (38 percent on threes). Wisconsin lives at the free-throw line. The Badgers have made more free throws (623) than opponents have attempted (558). But can Wisconsin keep up on the boards? Kentucky leads the nation in rebounding.

• BOTTOM LINE: The Wildcats have been clutch. James Young delivered the dagger against Wichita State. Aaron Harrison shot Kentucky past Louisville and Michigan. Kentucky is playing with a load of confidence. But so are the Badgers, who gutted out their West Region final victory against Arizona. The Wildcats’ inexperience hasn’t been an issue in the tournament, and it won’t be now. Kentucky moves on.

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