Here are the Badger of Honor Final Four Staff Predictions for Wisconsin vs. Kentucky
Wisconsin and Kentucky square off in the 2015 Final Four in Indianapolis Saturday. Wisconsin is looking to avenge a 2014 Final Four loss, while Kentucky strives to keep an undefeated streak alive.
Badger of Honor staff members have predicted the outcome of the game – take a look at how we feel this one will play out.
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The rematch of last year’s national semifinal will live up to the lofty expectations placed before it. Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker lead the country’s most efficient offense against Kentucky’s formidable defense. In the end, Dekker will continue his March Madness tear and Kaminsky will show why he’s the national player of the year as the Badgers do just enough to end the Wildcats’ pursuit of perfection.
Wisconsin 67, Kentucky 64
Willie Cauley-Stein on Kaminsky is a given and that’s bad news for Frank’s first-half production. Bo Ryan will try to test the waters early, hopefully drawing Kentucky into foul trouble, but I think Kentucky is too smart for that. I expect big games from Dekker and Nigel Hayes to start, with Kaminsky ending on another high note. The Badgers’ offense is more refined than the flash of Kentucky’s defense and fast-break scoring.
Wisconsin 90, Kentucky 84
Kentucky: 38-0, unbeatable, and unstoppable, right? Wrong. As shown by teams such as Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Notre Dame, the Wildcats can be brought down. Kentucky just seems to know how to get the game just enough under their grasp to win. Wisconsin, being who they are, will not let the game slip away if in a tight circumstance. Someone will step up (Ahem, Dekker), and help hold the advantage for a victory. If it happens to be a game-winning buzzer-beater by Kentucky… oh well, not much to do there. Yet the Badger seniors, both Josh Gasser and Kaminsky, have shown how much they want to win it all. Forget the statistics, game averages, etc. It should all come down to who will step up for which team and make the big shots. Personally, I could see Gasser setting a career high in points, which is currently 21, being set in his very first college game dating back to 2010. I could also see Dekker catching on fire, setting yet another new career high in points. So who will step up? If you’re a Badger fan you would be glad to have anyone catch fire, If you’re a Kentucky fan, get out of here. Another key point will be if the Badgers will get off to a better start than in recent games. If the Badgers could get off to a quick lead and hold it going into the half, I like Wisconsin’s chances.
Wisconsin 74, Kentucky 69
Wisconsin has been waiting an entire year to get back to this point. They’ve had no problems saying they’re excited about getting another shot at the team who knocked them from contention a year ago, and the seniors on this team (as well as the likely NBA-bound Sam Dekker) want to end their Wisconsin careers as National Champions. To do so, they’ll need to defeat the game’s biggest juggernaut and end an incredible win streak. Luckily for the Badgers, Wisconsin is playing at the top of its game right now, and is on a roll heading into the Final Four. They’ll need to play nearly flawless to knock of Kentucky, but I believe they have the ability and the drive to do so. I’ll take the Badgers in an extremely close game.
Wisconsin 73, Kentucky 72
This is the rematch the Wisconsin Badgers have wanted for a year now, except this time the Kentucky Wildcats come in undefeated on the season. This is by far Wisconsin’s best team ever and they will use their experience to give Kentucky a very good run for their money. The AP Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky will need to play tough inside on both ends of the floor. Get him going early and often in the offense. Look for Sam Dekker to continues his great play from the last two games. Kentucky is extremely talented and Wisconsin will need to control the tempo and keep the Wildcats off the glass. It will be a battle, but Wisconsin in the end will sneak their way into the national championship.
Wisconsin 78, Kentucky 74
First let me just say, win or lose, this has been a truly memorable season. 35 wins, a Big 10 tournament/regular season championship, a 1 seed, and a Final Four is nothing to scoff at. And you know what? I think they’re going to add a national championship to that profile. They have all the ingredients to beat Kentucky. Like Notre Dame,they spread the floor, have experience, hit a lot of their 3’s, and can draw their bigs away from the basket. I don’t think Kentucky can stop Wisconsin. Yup, I don’t think the best defense of our generation can stop Wisconsin. However, I don’t think Wisconsin can stop the Kentucky bigs on lobs and in the post. This game is going to be a shoot out. And a coin flip. I don’t know who is going to win, but I do know it will come down to the final seconds. And in the final seconds, I’ll take the veterans over the underclassmen any day.
Wisconsin 80, Kentucky 79
Douglas J. Etten
Alright. Let’s precursor this story. I’ve spent two days this week in Kentucky (spring break). Both times wearing Badgers gear and both times I’ve gotten the look like, “do you really think you have a shot?” There is an arrogance that smells from the top down at Kentucky, and although John Calipari has done a good job of playing politician this week, fans really know what he’s all about – and they don’t like it! At least outside of Kentucky. Wisconsin has the athletes, shooters and defenders to play with the Wildcats. But let’s be honest, they showcase the more talented team overall and that will challenge the Badgers. What Wisconsin does well is they don’t panic. Nothing takes them by surprise. If they get out to a 20-point lead, they don’t let it change them. If they fall behind, they stay the course and let the game come to them. Kentucky will push the pace Saturday, and Wisconsin will have to maximize its possessions. Scoring from different avenues that involve someone not names Sam Dekker or Frank Kaminsky will be a must. If Bronson Koenig, Nigel Hayes or Duje Dukan have a big game, and if the Badgers control the defensive glass, they have a shot.
Wisconsin 78, Kentucky 76.