Well the stage is set for a highly anticipated rematch. And not just an ordinary rematch, a March Madness one that has a perfect record on the line for one team and a national championship trophy on the line for both teams.
It’s a classic 1-seed vs. 1-seed in the Final Four on Saturday, April 4.
Since earning the automatic bid for winning the SEC, Kentucky has defeated No. 16 Hampton, No. 8 Cincinnati, No. 5 West Virginia and No. 3 Notre Dame to advance to its fourth Final Four in the past five seasons.
On the other side of the court, the Badgers also earned an automatic bid for winning the Big Ten Conference Tournament and have since knocked off No. 16 Coastal Carolina, No. 8 Oregon, No. 4 North Carolina and No. 2 Arizona to move to the Final Four for the second-straight year.
Here’s what you need to know about the nightcap Final Four game:
No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 1 Wisconsin
Saturday, April 4 at 8:49 p.m. Eastern
Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
Kentucky is 1-3 against the spread in the NCAA Tournament, while Wisconsin is 2-2, though it has covered in two straight.
No. 8 Kentucky 74, No. 2 Wisconsin 73 on April 5, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Record: 38-0 overall, 18-0 SEC
Coach: John Calipari, 6th season
Offensive Points Per Game: 74.9
Defensive Points Allowed Per Game: 53.9
Scoring Leaders: Aaron Harrison, 11.1
Rebounding Leader: Karl-Anthony Towns, 6.8
Assists Leader: Andrew Harrison, 3.6
Record: 35-3 overall, 16-2 Big Ten
Coach: Bo Ryan, 14th season
Offensive Points Per Game: 71.7
Defensive Points Allowed Per Game: 55.7
Scoring Leaders: Frank Kaminsky, 18.4
Rebounding Leader: Frank Kaminsky, 8.1
Assists Leader: Traevon Jackson, 2.9
Kentucky 71, Wisconsin 70
Although No. 3 Notre Dame exposed the Wildcats’ weaknesses and gave some insight to the recipe for an upset, I still think Kentucky will pull this one out. Not only has UK prevailed as a whole team that feeds off one another and isn’t depending on one specific player, but also, as Willie Cauley-Stein said, they expected to be back in the Final Four after last year’s second-place finish.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the Big Ten and pulling for the upset and I think Wisconsin does have a strong chance of succeeding in that, but the Badgers are too reliant on Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker whereas the Wildcats have a full roster and plenty of depth.
It’ll definitely be a great game, full of excitement and passion and one I think could go into overtime. But this Final Four rematch will end in regulation with the same outcome as last year, Kentucky moving on to the National Championship game on Monday, April 6.