The Kentucky Wildcats were a No. 8 seed playing in the Final Four on April 5. In recent years, a run like the Wildcats isn't so rare in the NCAA tournament or Final Four, at least seeding wise. But no No. 8 seed has ever been like Kentucky, and no run by any team has been like this either -- not after yet another last-second win over the Wisconsin Badgers, on yet another Aaron Harrison winning shot.
Harrison drained a three-pointer to put the Wildcats ahead for good with five seconds left, as he did against the Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight. While that shot broke a tie, this one turned a 73-71 deficit into a 74-73 Kentucky win, and a date with the Connecticut Huskies in the national title game.
Beforehand, the Wildcats started the Final Four as slow as their other games, needing a run before halftime to close the gap to four. When the Badgers built it to seven to start the second, John Calipari called a timeout to settle the Wildcats down.
It worked to the tune of a 15-0 run, putting Wisconsin against the wall. Yet the Badgers soon rose back to take a 67-62 lead. But it was then Kentucky's turn to rise again and hold a 71-69 lead with under 90 seconds left.
The otherwise shut down Frank Kaminsky then tipped in a miss from Traevon Jackson to even it up. After Andrew Harrison missed an ill-advised shot, he fouled Jackson on a desperation three, which spelled trouble since the Badgers had been perfect from the line all night. Naturally, this led to Jackson missing his first shot.
Although he made the next two, the Wildcats had their window for the other Harrison to deliver. Aaron had been contained all night as well, scoring five points through the first 39+ minutes.
Yet he was largely contained by the Wolverines, until he made four late threes to close the Elite Eight. In this case at the Final Four, Harrison needed just one to break the Badgers' hearts, which were officially shattered when Jackson's buzzer-beating shot rimmed out.
Like Wichita State, Louisville and Michigan beforehand, Wisconsin's low seed, better regular season and moments when it had Kentucky on the ropes just weren't enough. Now the seventh seeded Cinderella Huskies are the only ones left to try and hold on a few seconds longer.