Breaking down Kentucky’s victory

04/05/2014 11:07 PM

11/12/2014 4:34 PM

Why Kentucky won: A 3-pointer by Aaron Harrison with 5.7 seconds to go turned out to be the game-winner. Kentucky won because the Wildcats remained poised after a pair of free throws by Wisconsin’s Traevon Jackson put the Badgers ahead 73-71 with 15.2 seconds left. Harrison also hit the winning basket in the Elite Eight last week against Michigan.

Key player: James Young, a freshman from Rochester Hills, Mich., led Kentucky with 17 points and five rebounds. Young was the key player in a huge rally that got the Wildcats back in the game early in the second half.

Key stat: Kentucky trailed 43-36 but went on a 15-0 run to take a 51-43 lead with 15:33 remaining to take control again. Although Wisconsin rallied to go ahead by three points, the spurt gave Kentucky new life. The Wildcats beat the Badgers on the boards 32-28 and held Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky to just eight points.

Notables

• Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein did not suit out for Saturday’s game. The 7-footer hasn’t played since aggravating a sprained ankle during the 74-69 victory over Louisville in the regional semifinals.
• UConn and Kentucky did not meet this season, so the X’s and O’s game Monday night between UConn coach Kevin Ollie and Kentucky coach John Calipari should be fascinating. Calipari was an assistant at Kansas under Larry Brown from 1983-85 and with the Philadelphia 76ers from 1999-2000. Ollie played for Brown with the Sixers from 2000-01.
• A freshman from Plano’s Prestonwood Christian High School, Kentucky forward Julius Randle had 16 points and five boards and will likely play his final college game Monday night. Randle is projected to be a top-five pick in the June NBA Draft if he decides to turn pro.

— Dwain Price

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