(Saturday, March 28)
Final Score: Wisconsin 85, Arizona 78
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and the Wisconsin Badgers are headed back to the Final Four. Once again, it came at the expense of Arizona. Kaminsky’s dominance inside, Dekker’s clutch shooting and a plus-30 differential from 3-point range helped Wisconsin beat Arizona 85-78 in Saturday’s West Region final. Kaminsky scored 28 points in last year’s overtime win over Arizona that propelled the Badgers to the Final Four, where they ultimately lost to national runner-up Kentucky. The 7-footer netted 29 in this one. Dekker added 27 points, including 10 in the game’s final 3:36. Wisconsin made 10 3-pointers in the second half, missing only twice from long range. Arizona hit just two the entire game. The Badgers (35-3) will take on Kentucky for a second straight season next week in Indianapolis with a trip to the title game on the line. The unbeaten Wildcats rallied past Notre Dame on Saturday to win the Midwest Region.
Final Score: Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) – When the Kentucky Wildcats won the SEC championship on March 15, they went against tradition and left the nets at Bridgestone Arena intact. They had bigger goals in mind, including a second straight trip to the Final Four. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Harrison made sure they got there. Towns scored a game-high 25 points, Harrison sank two free throws with six seconds left and Kentucky stayed unbeaten with a come- from-behind 68-66 win over Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional final. Notre Dame gave the 38-0 Wildcats as stiff a test as they’ve faced all season, leading for most of the second half before the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed scored the game’s last four points. Towns, who led Kentucky with 25 points, muscled his way to the basket for a layup with 1:14 remaining to tie the score at 66. Empty possessions both ways led to Harrison working the clock down and attacking the rim, drawing a blocking foul on Demetrius Jackson. Both free throws were pure. Jerian Grant took the ensuing inbounds pass and raced up the left sideline against multiple Kentucky defenders. Willie Cauley-Stein forced him into the left corner, where Grant’s pump fake got him and Harrison to bite and fly by. But Trey Lyles followed the play and challenged Grant, who missed long at the horn.