NCAA Tournament Review
Kentucky’s dream of a perfect season came to a screeching halt on Saturday (Apr. 4) at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four in Indianapolis. The Wildcats had a four point lead with less than seven minutes to play but Wisconsin took the lead and never looked back after a Sam Dekker three-point basket. The Badgers executed much better than Kentucky down the stretch, and the Wildcats couldn’t buy a bucket late in the game.
The Wildcats were still the first team in NCAA history to start a season 38-0, and although they didn’t get the job done, this was a very accomplished UK team.
Duke defeated Wisconsin in the national title game 68-63, earning coach Mike Krzyzewski his fifth national championship.
All-SEC postseason awards
Player of the Year
Bobby Portis, Arkansas
Defensive Player of the Year
Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
Coach of the Year
John Calipari, Kentucky
Freshman of the Year
Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
Guard: Stefan Moody, Jr., Ole Miss; K.T. Harrell, Sr., Auburn
Forward: Bobby Portis, Soph., Arkansas; Karl-Anthony Towns, Fr., Kentucky
Center: Willie Cauley-Stein, Jr., Kentucky
Guard: Josh Richardson, Sr., Tennessee; Danuel House, Jr., Texas A&M
Forward: Jordan Mickey, Soph, LSU; Jarrell Martin, Soph, LSU
Center: Damian Jones, Vanderbilt (So.)
Guard: Michael Qualls, Jr., Arkansas; Craig Sword, Jr., Mississippi State
Forward: Levi Randolph, Sr., Alabama; Marcus Thornton, Sr., Georgia Dorian Finney-Smith, Jr., Florida
Guard: Riley LaChance, Vanderbilt; Tyler Ulis, Kentucky; Devin Booker, Kentucky
Forward: Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky; Trey Lyles, Kentucky
* Alabama hired Avery Johnson as its new head basketball coach. Johnson, 50, won an NBA title as a player in 1999 with the San Antonio Spurs. As a head coach in the NBA, Johnson won Coach of the Year with the Dallas Mavericks and led the Mavs to an NBA Finals appearance in 2006. Johnson also coached the Brooklyn Nets after his stint in Dallas. While he does not have any head coaching experience at the collegiate level, Johnson has strong ties to the South, which should help in recruiting.
* Kentucky didn’t win the national championship, but the Wildcats will lose several players to the NBA draft. Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison and Trey Lyles are all expected to enter the draft, and Dakari Johnson and Devin Boo-ker might follow suit.