The No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats take on the No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers Saturday for a chance at a national title.
Slaying No. 1 Arizona in the West Region final to make the third Final Four in the program’s history, the Badgers are led by head coach Bo Ryan and seven-footer Frank Kaminsky. Wisconsin last made the Final Four in 2000, and its only national title was way back in 1941.
Ryan, coaching in the first Final Four of his 15-year Division I career, has compiled a 20-12 record in the tournament. Meanwhile Kaminsky is arguably the best big man left in the tournament, averaging 18.5 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent from the field.
Kaminsky is aided by guards Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson. The senior Brust is second on the team in scoring this season with 12.8 points per game, but he struggled against Arizona going 2-for-7 from the floor for five points and two rebounds.
Jackson, hailing from Ohio, also struggled against Arizona shooting 4-for-14 for 10 points, but made up for his woes with five assists.
That core will face head coach John Calipari’s NBA prospect and freshmen-laden crew, headlined by star forward Julius Randle, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, and James Young.
Now enjoying his fifth year in Lexington, Calipari has reached the fifth Final Four of his career and he’s 2-2 in his previous four appearances. He last led Kentucky to the championship in 2012.
Seen as a top three pick by most scouts and analysts should he enter the NBA Draft this summer, Randle has been a double-double machine for the Wildcats this season. Averaging 15.1 points and 10.7 rebounds, the 6-foot-9 Randle has 24 double-doubles on the season.
The Harrison Twins average a combined 15 points, six rebounds and nearly six assists per game this season, with Aaron Harrison scoring in double-digits in eight straight games. He also came up with the game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds of Kentucky’s Elite Eight win over Michigan last weekend.
Swingman Young has been a sniper from three-point line during the tournament, shooting 6-for-14 from deep.
TV Channel: TBS
Start Time: 8:45 p.m. EST
Online Stream Info: A live online stream can be watched at NCAA March Madness Live here.
Prediction: Kentucky over Wisconsin 75-68