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This is John Calipari’s third Final Four, and each has been with a different school, matching Rick Pitino’s record. Calipari’s runs with Massachusetts in 1996 and Memphis in 2008 both were vacated for violation of NCAA rules within the program. Calipari is one of the better coaches in terms of making in-game adjustments, especially on the defensive end as he did in the win over Ohio State.


Kentucky is young with three freshmen in the rotation, but it’s the upperclassmen who have come up big in the tournament. Center Josh Harrellson is averaging 14.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in the tournament, while swingman Deandre Liggins has been a defensive stopper covering both guards and forwards.



No. 3 Connecticut beat No. 14 Bucknell 81-52; No. 6 Cincinnati 69-58; No. 2 San Diego State 74-67; No. 5 Arizona 65-63.


This might be the easiest call in all of college basketball. Kemba Walker had a great regular season, and the 6-foot-1 junior has been even better in the postseason. He led the Huskies to five wins in as many days to win the Big East tournament, averaging 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists. With talk of him being exhausted from his big week in New York, Walker went and averaged 26.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists in the four NCAA tournament games. He has been a leader of the young team and is the only upperclassman in the Huskies’ starting lineup.


Jim Calhoun is looking for his third national championship in his fourth Final Four appearance. The 68-year-old Hall of Famer has a career record of 853-607 placing him sixth on the all-time wins list and third among active coaches behind Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim. The Huskies’ Big East championship was Calhoun’s record seventh. He has been suspended for three games next season over NCAA violations in his program.


The Huskies are going wherever Kemba Walker takes them. The rest of the team has really picked it up since the postseason started. Freshman Jeremy Lamb is averaging 16.0 points, and sophomore Alex Oriahki is pulling down 9.8 rebounds per game. Connecticut’s wins in the regional semifinals and finals were road games at a neutral site as San Diego State and Arizona had the crowd on its side in Anaheim, Calif.


These teams met in November in the championship game of the Maui Invitational. The unranked Huskies, led by Walker’s 29 points, prevailed 84-67 over No. 8 Kentucky, taking a 50-29 lead at halftime and holding the Wildcats to 36.7 percent shooting overall. The teams have changed quite a bit since then mostly because the three freshmen who play key roles for both teams have played a full season.

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