NCAA Tournament

Final Four notes: Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison apologizes to Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky for postgame remark

Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison has apologized to Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky after Harrison mumbled an obscenity and a racial slur as a question about Kaminsky was asked Saturday night during a postgame news conference at the Final Four in Indianapolis. The Badgers upset Harrison and the previously unbeaten Wildcats 71-64.
Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison has apologized to Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky after Harrison mumbled an obscenity and a racial slur as a question about Kaminsky was asked Saturday night during a postgame news conference at the Final Four in Indianapolis. The Badgers upset Harrison and the previously unbeaten Wildcats 71-64. The Associated Press

Apology accepted.

Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky said he received a call from Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison early Sunday morning, apologizing for a slur that was muttered after the Wildcats’ loss to the Badgers on Saturday night.

A question was asked to a teammate about Kaminsky, and Harrison, under his breath, could be heard expressing an expletive and racial slur.

“I got a text message ,and he said he wanted to talk to me,” Kaminsky said. “I’m glad he reached out. He’s nice kid. He said he really respects me and apologized for what he said. I could tell he was sincere about it.

“Things are said all the time, on the court, when microphones aren’t on. It’s not that big a deal to me. The situation is completely diffused.”

The rematch

On Dec. 3, Duke traveled to Madison, Wis., and thumped the Badgers 80-70. The Blue Devils led by three at halftime. Four players scored in double figures for the Blue Devils, led by Tyus Jones with 22 points. Wisconsin got 25 from Traevon Jackson and 17 from Kaminsky.

That game means … nothing.

“Totally different teams now,” Duke guard Quinn Cook said.

But it was a huge victory for the Blue Devils and their three freshman starters. It was the team’s first true road game.

“I remember we weren’t nervous,” guard Matt Jones said. “And we got a lot of confidence from that game.”

One difference from then to now is the health of Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker. He played on an injured ankle and scored five points in the earlier game.

“We didn’t play well in that game,” Kaminsky said. “Hopefully we can take some stuff from that game and use it this time.”

Big Ten success

In the last several years, the Big Ten has been first in realignment, first in creating a leaguewide network but not first in winning national championships in football or men’s basketball.

Now, the conference has put itself in a position for a sweep.

Ohio State beat Oregon in the first College Football Playoff championship game in January, and now Wisconsin has a chance in NCAA men’s basketball.

Before this year, the last titles in those sports were the Buckeyes’ 2002 football championship and Michigan State’s 2000 basketball title.

Since 2002, the SEC has piled up titles in football (eight) and basketball (four). The Big 12 and ACC have won championships in both sports. The Big Ten now has that opportunity.

Calipari in Hall of Fame, Ryan not

John Calipari will be introduced as a Naismith Hall of Fame member today.

Several outlets reported Sunday that Calipari received enough votes to be inducted, but fellow finalist, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan, did not.

Wonder if the outcome would have been different had the voting occurred after the Badgers’ victory over Kentucky on Saturday?

Other Hall of Fame finalists among players include former Kansas and Boston Celtics guard Jo Jo White, Spencer Haywood, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Dikembe Mutumbo and Lisa Leslie. In addition, NBA coach Bill Fitch, NBA referee Dick Bavetta and high school coach Robert Hughes are finalists.

▪ Also Sunday, Calipari was chosen winner of the Naismith Coach of the Year, his second major coaching honor announced during the Final Four.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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