4) Kentucky Wildcats vs. 3) Connecticut Huskies
Projected Winner (Pomeroy): Kentucky, 70-68 (55%)
One of the cliche's of March is that experience beats talent, but that isn't the case with these two teams. Only one senior, Josh Harrellson, will likely play a big role in this game, and the teams are loaded with underclassmen. As the season goes along, the freshmen are only becoming more and more acclimated into their offenses, which explains a lot about why Kentucky and Connecticut are here right now.
For the Huskies, the unquesitoned x-factor in this game will be Jeremy Lamb. Kemba Walker is going to get his, but they needed Lamb to have a pair of very big games to escape Arizona and San Diego State in Anaheim. If they want to continue on further, Lamb will have to continue to score frequently and mix in plenty of timely three-pointers. Nobody else on UConn is really going to be a high-volume scorer, though they will all get some points off the offensive glass and the occasional post-up.
Kentucky's biggest edge in this game will likely be their three-point shooting. Everyone but Harrellson who gets playing time can stroke it from beyond the arc. Kentucky is not well-prepared to handle foul trouble, but they should be able to control the boards and the inside game. Connecticut is going to need Lamb and Walker to hit a high-percentage of threes if they want to stay in this game, because the Wildcats interior defense is too good for the Huskies to effectively dent.
Ultimately, look for the Wildcats to pull out this one comfortably. While Walker could show up hot and will keep Connecticut in the game, there's not much else in the recent history to suggest that they're better than Kentucky, who took a harder road to the Final Four than the Huskies did and have much more front-line talent.
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