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NCAA Final Four preview: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

Seven-foot center Frank Kaminsky leads the Badgers against the youthful and athletic Wildcats.

April 04, 2014|Chris Dufresne

A look at the NCAA tournament semifinal between the second-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (30-7) and eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (28-10).

When: Today, 5:49 p.m. TV: TBS

Breakdown: Wisconsin is making its fourth Final Four appearance but first since 2000. The Badgers defeated American, Oregon, Baylor and Arizona to reach this year's final weekend. Once known primarily for defense, Wisconsin's "swing" offense has evolved.

The Badgers can play multiple tempos and have won games scoring as few as 48 points (Virginia) and as many as 103 (North Dakota). Wisconsin is disciplined and efficient, averaging a nation-low 8.1 turnovers per game while allowing opponents only 15 free-throw attempts.

Seven-foot center Frank Kaminsky has emerged as a nightmare matchup with his ability to score inside and out. He had 28 points in last weekend's West Regional overtime win against Arizona.

"He's playing with a swagger right now, like none of you can guard me," Kentucky Coach John Calipari said after watching Kaminsky.

Kentucky seeks its ninth NCAA title, which would leave the Wildcats only two behind UCLA's 11. Kentucky had the hardest path to this year's Final Four with wins over a total seeding number of 16.

The Wildcats would be the first No. 8 to win the NCAA title since Villanova in 1985. Kentucky's acclaimed freshman class is led by guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison and 6-9 power forward Julius Randle.

Most teams must double-team Randle, who is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds, in the post.

Calipari: "He's being played like Shaq was played in college."

The Wildcats will probably be without 7-foot Willie Cauley-Stein, who injured his ankle last weekend against Louisville.

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