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Final Four Recap: UConn Shocks Florida for Trip to Title Game

posted on April 05, 2014
If all hope looks lost for UConn in the national championship game, don’t believe it.Don’t say UConn is finished. Don’t change the channel. Don’t leave the arena.Against Florida, the Huskies clawed through an opponent and dire expectations again and not for the first time in this Tournament. UConn trailed by 16-4 Saturday to a team that had won 30 in a row, but the Huskies continued their improbable run to the national championship game with a 63-53 win over Florida.A dozen...
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Final Four Preview and Picks: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Kentucky Wildcats

posted on April 05, 2014
Kentucky may be the best-positioned No. 8 seed to play for a national title, but 1985 Villanova Big Blue Nation is not.Rollie Massimino’s 1985 Villanova team is the lowest-seeded program to win the national title, a feat Kentucky can match if the Wildcats can beat Wisconsin and then win Monday night.But unlike that Villanova team that spent most of the season lurking in the shadows, this year’s Kentucky started at No. 1. With the future pro talent John Calipari added to the roster this...
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Final Four Preview and Picks: Florida Gators vs. UConn Huskies

posted on April 05, 2014
Not many teams can say they’ve defeated every team on their schedule.If Florida make it to Monday night (and so does Wisconsin), the Gators can say they’ve answered all comers even if they've lost twice this season.In an odd turn of events, the only two teams that defeated Florida during the course of the season, Wisconsin and Connecticut, are in the Final Four. The third team, Kentucky, is one Florida has faced three times the year. Beat UConn and Wisconsin, and Florida can say it...
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Scouting the Final Four: Opposing Coaches Break Down the Championship Weekend

posted on April 04, 2014
Coaches in the Final Four by now have completed the scouting process and are starting to implement the game plans they hope will lead to a national championship. If you’re wondering what the coaches are seeing, Athlon Sports hopes to offer some insight. We spoke to coaches who compiled scouting reports for teams that faced the Final Four teams either during the NCAA Tournament or during the season. In exchange for more candor, we quoted the coaches anonymously.Florida | UConn | Wisconsin |...
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How the 2014 Final Four Teams were Built

posted on April 03, 2014
The freshman class will be present and accounted for in the Final Four, even if it’s not in the way anyone would have predicted.The high school graduating class of 2013 will have more players in Dallas than any other class, but their roles will vary wildly.Of the 13 freshmen in the Final Four, seven are from Kentucky. Five of those are playing major minutes. The other freshmen, whether three-star rookies for Wisconsin or McDonald’s All-Americans for Florida, are playing supporting roles.The...
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How Does Shabazz Napier's Final Four Run Compare to Kemba Walker's?

posted on April 02, 2014
The shadow of Kemba Walker continues to follow Shabazz Napier at Connecticut.The Huskies senior guard has been primed to step into Walker’s shoes since his sophomore season, a year after Walker led UConn to the national title.Like Walker, Napier is a guard who can carry the Huskies night in and night out. He can create his own shot to an acrobatic degree, at the end of the shot clock or at the buzzer. And Napier is indispensable when he’s not taking shots, leading his team in rebounds...
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Frank Kaminsky becomes household name as Wisconsin reaches Final Four

posted on April 02, 2014
When Frank Kaminsky scored 43 points in a November game against North Dakota, the outburst was something for the college basketball hardcores to ponder for a bit.Kaminsky was a non-factor for the first two seasons of his career, so it certainly came as a surprise. But November games involving Big Sky Conference teams don’t necessarily capture the imagination.That changed Saturday night. Kaminsky is on another planet right now. pic.twitter.com/V37pjnMSkG— Jason Kint (@jason_kint)...
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The 2014 Final Four Dream Team

posted on April 02, 2014
The Final Four is a collection of fine players, but like the NCAA Tournament as a whole, the diverse pieces make for a more interesting puzzle.The stars have been stars on the way to the Final Four, including UConn’s Shabazz Napier, Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky and Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin.Meanwhile, the four teams in North Texas wouldn’t be here without some players taking the next step (Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison) or those that emerged from nowhere (Kentucky’s...
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10 Amazing Stats for Teams in the Final Four

posted on April 01, 2014
Not that we really needed it, but the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight weekend showcased why the NCAA Tournament is one of sports’ greatest events.And not just because six games of the 12 came down to the final seconds.Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan, one of the game’s most consistent coaches for 30 years, reached his first Final Four. A day later, UConn’s Kevin Ollie, in only his second season has a head coach anywhere, did the same.And while Kentucky played in three of the best games of the...
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The Top 10 Arena Nicknames in College Basketball

posted on March 31, 2014
Madison Square Garden is hosting the East Regional Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games in this NCAA Tournament.But most everyone knows exactly what you mean when you say “The Garden.” Mark Messier, Willis Reed and Kemba Walker have helped make MSG the most famous arena in all of sports and why we all affectionately call it “The Garden.”Now, a nickname like The Garden isn’t all that creative or unique or funny or interesting since the actual name of the building is… the...
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