|#4||Kentucky (29-8) ||68|
|#3||Connecticut (30-9) ||66|
The 2009-10 freshman class of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe might have garnered more national attention, but it’s John Calipari’s latest crop of freshmen that has Big Blue Nation in the Final Four for the first time since 1998. And according to the WhatIfSports’ prediction engine, the Wildcats’ Houston stay will be extended as Kentucky advances to the national title game, ending UConn’s miraculous March with a 68-66 victory.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 9-2 advantage in the first half thanks to guard Brandon Knight, who chipped in five points and had a dish to fellow freshman Terrence Jones. The Huskies countered with a run of their own and headed into the locker room down just two at the break. Jeremy Lamb was the catalyst for Jim Calhoun’s group in the first half, scoring nine points and grabbing four boards.
Kentucky would augment its lead to eight to open the second half, taking advantage of poor shooting from Connecticut’s Kemba Walker. UConn would not go quietly into the night, mounting a charge and seizing the lead with six minutes to go. Alas, a deep three from Jones put the ‘Cats back on top around the four-minute mark, and DeAndre Liggins’ jumper with just a minute to go sealed the deal for Kentucky
Jones paced the Wildcats with 16 points and 11 rebounds, with Knight contributing 12 points and eight assists and big man Josh Harrellson adding 10 boards. Although he accumulated five steals, UConn’s Walker seemingly ran out of gas, shooting 37.5 percent from the field and totaling just two assists.
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