The second spot in the 2011 Final Four will be filled when UConn takes on Arizona from Anaheim, CA this evening. The Huskies and Wildcats have plowed through their competition so far, including Arizona’s beatdown of Duke on Thursday Night. Which red-hot team will move on to the Final Four?
People wondered if UConn could keep it up after they won five straight games to win the Big East Tournament. So far, so good for the Huskies and superstar in the making Kemba Walker. Walker scored 36 points in UConn’s win over second-seeded San Diego State on Thursday, his seventh game with at least 24 points in the Huskies’ last nine outings.
“It’s never unexpected to me. It’s joyous to me,” Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. “It’s always going to have a special place for me because of the group, because of the way we started the season. … Nothing seems to get them down. The kids really do want to win and listen, and this group has done as good a job as any team I’ve had in a long, long time.”
Like the Huskies, the Wildcats had their ups and downs this season but are playing their best ball at the right time.
Derrick Williams believes Arizona grew into its talent down the stretch, and nobody did it better than the high-flying forward from nearby La Mirada, Calif., himself, scoring a career-high 32 points during the Wildcats’ evisceration of Duke.
Williams knew Arizona’s history when he decommitted from Southern California along with Jones and Solomon Hill to join the Wildcats two years ago — and he’s also talked to fans hungry for another title because their T-shirts from Arizona’s 1997 championship are getting a bit tight.
“It was only a matter of time before we bought into what the coaches were selling us,” Williams said. “It’s a chain reaction, and you can believe in what they’re saying when you’re at a winning program like ours.”
MY PICK – Arizona – Did everyone see what the Wildcats did to Duke? Enough said.
ARIZONA 80 – UCONN – 75