Wisconsin reached its first Final Four since 2000 after an overtime victory over Arizona. Another monster performance from Frank Kaminsky resulted in his being named NetScouts Basketball’s NCAA Tournament Player of the Day for games on Saturday, March 29th.
After scoring 19 points and blocking six shots against Baylor in the Sweet 16, Kaminsky continued his excellence into the Elite Eight. He scored 28 points, shooting 11-of-20 from the floor and 3-of-5 from three, and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Badgers topped Arizona 64-63 in overtime.
“I was just trying to do anything that we could do to win,” Kaminsky said in an interview with Charles Barkeley after the game on TBS. “If that’s taking a big guy out on the perimeter, if that’s going at a smaller guy, you know I was just doing anything. We wanted our first Final Four and we were doing anything possible to get there.”
The 7-foot center continues to be a problem for opposing defenses because of his versatility. He can battle inside due to his size but also step out and hit open shots, shown in his trio of three-pointers on Saturday. His ability to step out on offense resulted in Sean Miller taking Kaleb Tarczewski out of the game for extended periods. To play at the next level, Kaminsky will need to play better on the defensive end, but his offensive versatility makes him an intriguing prospect.
Wisconsin will face the winner of Sunday’s Kentucky-Michigan match-up in the Final Four. With the way Kaminsky and the Badger guards are playing, Wisconsin will be tough to take down.
Other Saturday Game Notes
-In the loss to Wisconsin, freshman Aaron Gordon likely capped his collegiate career as he is expected to declare for the NBA draft. He only had eight points and shot 3-of-11 from the floor, but had a career-high 18 rebounds. Gordon’s calling card comes on the defensive end of the floor while there’s plenty of upside offensively for the 18-year-old.
–Florida was the other team to advance into the Final Four on Saturday, ending Dayton’s best NCAA tournament run in 30 years, 62-52. Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin willed his team to another win with 23 points, three assists, and three steals.
Patric Young continues to be a force inside with 12 points, six rebounds, four blocks, and two steals. He’s a huge, physical presence for the Gators. The Gators used their size advantage to yield a +11 advantage on the boards including a 12-5 edge on the offensive glass. Dorian Finney-Smith pulled down six offensive boards, several extending Gator possessions late in the game. For Dayton, sophomore Dyshawn Pierre had 18 points (7-11 FG, 2-3 3FG), five rebounds, three rebounds, and two blocks. Devin Oliver finished with 12 points and six assists in his final collegiate game.
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