Twenty quick thoughts on UK’s trip to the Final Four

(H-L photo)

(H-L photo)

Twenty thoughts on UK’s win over North Carolina and trip to the Final Four:

  1. This is Kentucky’s first Final Four since 1998, snapping a drought of 12 seasons, longest in school history.
  2. Forget that vacated stuff. This is John Calipari’s third Final Four trip with his third different team.
  3. Kentucky is already a two-point favorite over Connecticut in the national semifinal.
  4. Jay-Z was in the Kentucky locker room after the game, helping celebrate the win.
  5. Kentucky averaged 1.108 points per possession to North Carolina’s 0.970.
  6. The Cats continued their terrific defense, especially against three-point shooting. North Carolina was three of 16 from beyond the arc.
  7. Brandon Knight was named MVP, but I voted for DeAndre Liggins. He played great defense on Friday, and hit the big three-pointer with 38 seconds left on Sunday.
  8. North Carolina outrebounded UK 36-34, but the Heels had just 11 offensive rebounds to nine for UK. Both teams had 25 defensive rebounds.
  9. After avenging losses to Vanderbilt, Florida, West Virginia and North Carolina, the Cats now can avenge that Maui loss to Connecticut.
  10. Three UK players fouled out in the loss at North Carolina. In this game, North Carolina’s John Henson was in foul trouble the entire game and fouled out. He grabbed nine rebounds, but scored just four points.

The second 10:

  1. Brandon Knight made five of 11 three-pointers, after not shooting well for most of the tournament.
  2. This is Louisville’s worst nightmare. A loss to Morehead State in the first round, and Kentucky makes the Final Four.
  3. All five UK starters scored in double figures.
  4. Josh Harrellson, Brandon Knight and DeAndre Liggins each had four assists.
  5. Kentucky had 10 steals, most since having 10 against LSU on January 15.
  6. So UK could not make the Final Four with DeMarcus Cousins as its center, despite a fabulous season, but did with Josh Harrellson as its center.
  7. Kentucky made 12 of 22 three-pointers for 54.5 percent. That was big.
  8. If UK beats Connecticut, the Cats would play the winner of VCU and Butler.
  9. North Carolina made just one of nine threes in the second half.
  10. UNC shot 43.5 percent. The last team to shoot 50 percent against Kentucky? That was UConn in Maui, when the Huskies shot 57.7.

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