UK upsets OSU and UNC in East Region, ready for UConn in Houston.
2010-11 Record: 29–8 (10–6 SEC)
Head Coach: John Calipari (3rd Final Four)
Projected Starters: G – Brandon Knight (17.2 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.8 rpg), G – Darius Miller (11.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg), F – DeAndre Liggins (8.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.5 apg), F- Terrence Jones (15.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.9 bpg), C – Josh Harrellson (7.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 61.2 FG%)
Will win the national title if… Josh “Jorts” Harrellson continues to play like an All-American and Brandon Knight — who already has two game-winning shots in the Wildcats’ tournament run — keeps playing his best ball when the game is on the line. Also, some combination of Knight, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins must slow down UConn star Kemba Walker.
Will lose to Connecticut on Saturday if… coach John Calipari’s team allows Walker to control the tempo of the game, as he did during an 84–67 Kentucky loss to then-unranked Connecticut in late November at the Maui Invitational. The Cats also need to continue to play with poise beyond their years. Terrence Jones, in particular, must monitor his shot selection and stay out of foul trouble.
Best Team: Kentucky
Biggest Upset: Kentucky over Ohio State
Most Surprising Team: Marquette
Most Disappointing Team: Syracuse
Best Player: Brandon Knight, Kentucky. The freshman point guard hit two game-winners — against Princeton and Ohio State — en route to leading the Cats to the Final Four.
Honorable Mention: Josh Harrellson, Kentucky; Harrison Barnes, North Carolina; Tyler Zeller, North Carolina; Jared Sullinger, Ohio State; Isaiah Thomas, Washington
Best Game: Kentucky 59, Princeton 57, First Round — In an extreme contrast of styles, the Wildcats outlasted the Tigers thanks to a driving layup by Brandon Knight — his only basket of the game — with just two ticks remaining on the clock.
Most Disappointing Game: North Carolina 81, Marquette 63, Sweet 16 — Dwyane Wade wasn’t walking through that door for the Golden Eagles, who scored only 15 points in the first half on their way to an embarrassing 18-point loss to the Tar Heels.