Late 3-pointer lifts Kentucky into championship game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
ARLINGTON, Texas — No, this was not an instant replay, though it certainly is turning into a highlight reel Kentucky and Aaron Harrison could get used to watching.
Harrison took a pass from his twin brother, Andrew, spotted up from NBA range, and watched the ball rattle in for the lead with 5.7 seconds left to lift the Wildcats to a 74-73 victory Saturday night over Wisconsin in the Final Four.
“You can't be scared to miss, and you want to be that guy that wants to take the big shots,” Aaron Harrison said.
It's the third straight game the Kentucky freshman has made a 3-pointer for the go-ahead points in this magical ride for the Wildcats (29-10), and the second straight time the pass has come from his brother for a shot from the left center of the arc.
Traevon Jackson had a last-second shot to try to beat the Wildcats, but the desperation jumper rimmed out, and once again, Harrison found himself at the bottom of a dog pile at center court.
Eighth-seeded Kentucky will play seventh-seeded UConn in the final Monday — the highest seed total to play for the title since they started putting numbers by the names back in 1979.
“I know how good they are, but I don't know how they play,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Connecticut.
Wisconsin (30-8) set a Final Four record by going 95 percent from the free-throw line — 19 for 20. But it was that one miss that cost the Badgers. Jackson got Andrew Harrison to jump into him while attempting a 3-pointer with 16.4 seconds left. His first free throw rimmed out, and after he made the next two, Wisconsin had a 73-71 lead, and Kentucky had the ball.
Against Louisville in the regional semifinal, Aaron Harrison was open in the corner when Julius Randle found him. He hit the go-ahead trey with 39.1 seconds left on the way to a 74-69 win. Two nights later, there were 2.3 seconds on the clock, and Harrison was a few steps over to the left when he took the pass from his brother. The ball clanged in, and he trotted backward and pumped his hands in the air.
A few minutes later, he was hugging his mom in the stands.
“It never comes down to just one possession,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “It was right there for them, it's just the other team had one possession better.”
James Young led Kentucky with 17 points and Randle finished with 16, but only five boards to snap his string of three straight double-doubles.
But Kentucky had an answer for Wisconsin's do-everything 7-footer, Frank Kaminsky, who was held to eight points and five rebounds.
Ben Brust and Sam Dekker had 15 each for the Badgers.
Instead, it's Kentucky going for its ninth national title and second in three years with an almost completely rebuilt roster from 2012. It's the way Calipari does it, like it or not.
His star during this run: Aaron Harrison, who has first-round potential, though it won't be his final numbers in this game — eight points, three rebounds — that will impress the scouts as much as his final shot.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- $170.4M AmEx charge yields whopping perk for Chinese billionaire
- Police: 3 killed, 9 wounded in attack at Colorado Planned Parenthood
- Town Talk: South Fayette couple welcomes a boy to the family
- Nimble Regal ready for winter with all-wheel drive
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Robert Morris falls to Tennessee Tech, drops to 0-6
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison