Robert Stephens, Featured Reporter
It's Final Four time!
April 4, 2014 - The “FINAL FOUR” has arrived and there are
no schools west of the Mississippi River represented for
all you geography buffs.
The “SWEET SIXTEEN” featured 14 teams from the BCS conferences.
Dayton from the A-10 and San Diego St. from the Mountain West were the
two teams that survived the NCAA’s one and done format to the sixteen
not in the BCS.
One notation next year Louisville joins the ACC which would give them
The sixteen survivors were:
PAC-12 SEC A-10
ARIZONA FLORIDA DAYTON
BIG-12 BIG-10 MOUNTAIN WEST
BAYLOR WISCONSIN SAN DIEGO ST.
IOWA STATE MICHIGAN STATE
The “FINAL FOUR” will feature from the northeast
U-Conn from the AAC Conference. The Midwest will
bring us Wisconsin, and the south from the football driven conference
SEC will feature top rated Florida and Kentucky.
The first-semifinal from “Jerry World” (home of the Dallas
Cowboys) will tip off at 6:09 pm. on TNT. The early matchup features the
Florida Gators from the SEC and the Connecticut Huskies.
Julius Randall is starting to distinguish
The Huskies were the last team to defeat Florida 65-64 on December 2nd
at Stoors. Both teams feature strong guard play and a tenacious defense.
Florida in the round of “16” defeated UCLA (28-9)
79-63 behind Michael Fraziers’s 19points and six rebounds.
Scottie Wilbekin chipped in with 13 points as the Gators
held the Bruins to 41% shooting in the second half.
Florida shot 59.3% to pull away for the win.
In the South Final the Gators defeated Dayton (26-11)
62-52 to end the Flyers run. The Gators outrebounded
their opponents 37-26. Scottie Wilbekin led Florida
with 23 points. Patric Young chipped in with 12points, six rebounds and
four blocks. Micheal Frazier added 10 points.
The East regional held at Madison Square Garden
found former BIG-EAST U-Conn still in the bracket and
they were embraced as the local makes good.
The Huskies did not disappoint their faithful beating
Iowa St. (28-8) 81-76 after jumping out to a 36-26
De’Andre Daniels led U-Conn. with 27 points, 10 rebounds and two
blocks. The guard tandem of Shabazz Napier (19pts.), along with 5 assists
and Ryan Boatwright (16pts.) led the Huskie attack. Terrance Samuel chipped
in with 10points.
In the final Napier torched Michigan State (29-9)
for 25pts. 6rebs. and 4 assist. as the Huskies edged State
60-54. De’Andre Daniels chipped in with 12points and eight rebounds.
Ryan Boatwright added 11 points.
The key players for Florida Gators 36-2 (SEC)
#24 6’6 Sr. Casey Praither 13.8pts.
# 5 6’2 Sr. Scotty Wilbekin 13.4
#20 6’4 So. Michael Frazier 12.6
#4 6’9 Sr. Patric Young 10.8
#10 6’8 So. Dorrian-Finney Smith 8.9
#0 6’1 Fr. Kasey Hill 5.5
#15 6’8 Sr. Will Yeguete 5.
U. CONN. key players (30-8) AAC
#13 6’1 Sr. Shabazz Napier 18.1
#2 6’9 Jr. De’Andre Daniels 13.
#11 6’ Ryan Boatwright 12.
#5 6’7 Niels Giffey 8.3
#20 6’6 Gr. Lasan Kromah 6.3
#35 7’ Fr. Amida Brimah 6.3
#3 6’4 Fr. Terrance Samuel 2.4
The evening contest pits the University of
Wisconsin against the Kentucky Wildcats.
Wisconsin winners of the West Region beat the
Baylor Bears (26-12) 69-52 with a stifling defense that
kept the Bears off balance the entire contest. The
Badger defense forced Baylor into shooting 31.6%
from the floor.
Frank Kaminsky led Wisconsin with 19points and
6 blocks. Ben Brust chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds. Nigel
Hayes added 10 points.
The final featured the Arizona Wildcats from the
PAC-12 and both teams didn’t disappoint the 17,814
fans at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Wisconsin came away with a thrilling 64-63
overtime win against the Cats. (33-5)
Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 28 points and
11 rebounds. Traevon Jackson chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds.
Sam Dekker added seven points and eight rebounds.
Defense played a significant role for both teams.
Arizona shot 39.7% from the floor, Wisconsin
Kentucky survived the MID-WEST region which
was considered the most brutal region by many of the
The Wildcats defeated last year’s champion
Louisville (31-6) 74-69 as the trio of Dakari Johnson
(15pts. and 6 rebs.), Aaron Harrison (15pts.), and
Julius Randle (15pts. and 12rebs.) led the Wildcat
attack. Andrew Harrison chipped in with 14pts. and
7 assists. The Wildcats who trailed at halftime 34-31
outscored the Cardinals 43-35 to secure the win. Andrew
Andrew Harrison chipped in with 14 points and 7 assists.
In another thriller in this tournament the Wildcats
edged Michigan (28-10) in the finale. Julius Randle led the Wildcats with
16 points and 11 rebounds. James Young (13pts. and 4 rebs.), Aaron Harrison
(12pts.) and Marcus Lee (10pts. and 8 rebs.) led the balanced Wildcat
Kentucky will be without the services of 7’ center
Willie-Cauley Stein. Stein averaged 6.8 points per game and
6.1 rebounds. In 24 minutes of play.
Wisconsin Badgers 30-7 (BIG TEN)
#44 7’ Jr. Frank Kaminsky 14.1
#1 6’1 Sr. Ben Brust 12.8
#15 6’7 Soph. Sam Dekker 12.4
#12 6’2 Jr. Traevon Jackson 10.7
#21 6”3 Jr. Josh Gasser 8.9
# 10 6’7 Fr. Nigel Hayes 7.8
#24 6’3 Fr. Bronson Koenig 3.3
Kentucky Wildcats 28-10 (SEC)
# 30 6’9 Fr. Julius Randle 15.1
# 1 6’6 Fr. James Young 14.1
#2 6’6 Fr. Aaron Harrison 14.1
# 5 6’6 Fr. Andrew Harrison 11.
# 22 6’8 Soph. Alex Poythress 5.8
#44 7’ Fr. Dakari Johnson 5.1
#00 6’9 Fr. Marcus Lee 2.4
In the opener look for Kasey Hill to play an
important role because of the Huskies pressing defense.
Both teams have experience and this is a tough
call. U-Conn on a “BIG EAST” roll. I know (AAC).
Would love to see the Huskies win so going with
them over Don Donovan going for coronation #3 !
In the nightcap Bo Ryan is the coach with karma
If there is such a thing. Ryan a lifer in the sport may just have
his only shot at a title this time around. Wisconsin always
competitive but jusn’t been able to step in the big winners
Don Calapari on the other hand is looking for his
second coronation with his latest roster of underclassmen.
Calapari unveiled his latest top 20 rated prepster
in Marcus Lee who became ill early in the season and has
found it difficult to get in the rotation. Lee rated the top
prospect in California last year now gets to play because
of the injury to Cauly-Stein. Nobody has a loaded roster like
This karma things scares me and Calipari has
gotten the attention of his athletes.
It would only be fitting proper that U-CONN on
scholastic probation last year and Kentucky play for the
national championship and if that’s the case you got to
go with the stacked deck. This karma thing is killing me !