By Jeff Portnoy
in a great game, Wisconsin missed only one free throw and it cost them a possible win. In a game in which Wisconsin made 19-20 free throws, it was a miss on the first of three free throws in the last minute that left Kentucky only down two. And you guessed it. With less than 6 seconds remaining, the Cats hit the game winning three. It was only their second made three of the night compared to theBadgers 8. But Wisconsin missed their last three threes.
I said I thought Kentucky would control the inside and shut down Kaminsky. Well,, he wound up with only 8 points and 4 rebounds while Kentucky scored, get this, 46 points in the paint. And almost lost. It was a game of contrasting styles, and while Wisconsin managed to cover by 1, they lost where it counted, on the scoreboard.
So it sets up a Championship game I bet no one predicted. A 7, UConn, vrs an 8, Kentucky. No doubt it will the two teams with the highest combined seedings in recent NCAA history. Can UConn contain the dominat inside game of Kentucky with its two outstanding guards and great defense? I doubt it. There is not a more athletic team in College basketball and no one plays above the rim like the Cats. They were picked preseason Number 1, but played poorly and selfishly for a good part of the season. But they clearly have the most talent of any team and they are playing good solid team basketball ( yes, with the occasional Freshman mistakes).
By the way, the game set an NCAA attendance record with more than 79,000 fans. They saw one good game and one great game. I will not be able to stay for the Championship game and like you, will watch it on TV. I must say that after seeing where most of the media was put, in the upper press box, I am grateful for my seat. I cant tell you how far away those folks were from the court.
Jackson is back and we will have our usual show Weds at 7 on ESPN 1420. I will discuss the games in greater detail , including what the Jerry Jones palace is like ( yes he was here, as was Troy Aikman). Also here was Seattle Seahwak QB, Russel Wilson, sitting with his alma mater, Wisconsin. But enough of the name dropping.
It was a great Saturday of basketball and I am glad iIwas able to attend once again thanks to the folks at the Star-Advertiser and the NCAA. Nothing like having a press pass. Post game interviews, access to locker rooms, etc. Cant wait till next year in Indy. At least most fans can see the players even in that football Stadium, and you can walk to the Stadium from your downtown hotel.And yes, these are my personal views, not those of any Regent( even me).