Connecticut against Kentucky is what fans are used to seeing in the Final Four and is the complete opposite of Butler vs. VCU. UConn and Kentucky have already played once this season, but the game was played all the way back in November at the Maui Invite and ended with UConn destroying Kentucky 84-67.
The two teams were much different back then as Kentucky was still meshing in a new group of talent to replace the four first round picks they lost in the 2010 NBA Draft. At the time UConn was just known for Kemba Walker and were not ranked at the time of their win over Kentucky.
Back to the present and UConn won the Big East tournament as a nine-seed and has made their fourth Final Four run under head coach Jim Calhoun. Kentucky did not win the regular season or post season in the SEC and was not expected to make a Final Four run this year, but here they are as a completely different group of talent from last year's team.
The obvious player to watch for UConn is All-American Kemba Walker who has the ability to take over games with his scoring, especially from three-point range. Teams have tried to use a zone defense to limit Walker's ability to drive to the bucket, but that did not work as he just shot over the zone regardless if it was a 2-3, matchup zone or really any type of zone opposing coaches would throw at him. Since the Big East tournament, Walker has been aided by the scoring of Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier. Lamb is also does a great job of getting Walker the ball in position's where he can catch and shoot, and Napier is a pure scorer who can not knock down the deep shot.Outside of those three the Huskies are not that deep and their front court is where could have issues.
As for Kentucky, they are led by Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones. Knight is a player that must be guarded at all times on the court as he has the type of range that must be respected as deep as 30-feet from the basket. The freshman also has a knack for draining big time shots and Kentucky wants him to have the ball when the game is on the line. Jones is one heck of a talent, but if he is not on his game then he is just a decent player. He has the versatility to shoot the three-point shot and can post up smaller defenders down low. Jones can create mismatches for the opposing team and could be the difference for Kentucky. Center Josh Harrellson has perhaps been the reason that Kentucky has made it to the Final Four. He has been playing out of his mind
Perhaps the most important player to the Wildcats down the tournament stretch has been Josh Harrellson. The unheralded senior center has played out of his mind in the last two weeks. He has had two double-doubles in the tournament so far and has doubled his scoring average from just over seven per game to 15 per game.
Both of these coaches are two of the best over the past 20 years and the game will come down to who can out coach the other and create the matchups to their advantages.