Kentucky heading to the Final Four


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NEWARK, N.J. -- John Calipari has restored the roar at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats back to the Final Four after a 13-year absence.

Brandon Knight scored 22 points and the fourth-seeded Wildcats are headed back to college basketball's biggest stage following a 76-69 win over second-seeded North Carolina on Sunday in the East Regional final.

The Wildcats (29-8) will play Connecticut in Houston on Saturday night after turning back a late surge by the Tar Heels (27-10), who erased an 11-point deficit before running out of gas in the final 2 minutes.

DeAndre Liggins added 12 points for Kentucky, including a 3-pointer from the corner with 37 seconds remaining to help lift the Wildcats to the Final Four for the first time since 1998.

That's hardly a lengthy drought in most places. At Kentucky it's a lifetime.

A season after falling a game short of the Final Four behind a roster filled with future NBA stars, the Wildcats are heading to the national semifinals for 14th time behind the heady play of Knight and the emotional leadership of senior center Josh Harrellson.

Harrellson again held his own against North Carolina's bigger, more heralded front line, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Tyler Zeller led North Carolina with 21 points and nine rebounds, but the Tar Heels fell behind early and struggled to keep the hot-shooting Wildcats in check.

Harrellson gave teammate Eloy Vargas a bear hug shortly after the buzzer sounded then gleefully cut down the nets while the Tar Heels trudged slowly off the floor.

It's a scene the program has been waiting 13 years to celebrate, a mission that began in earnest when the program lured Calipari away from Memphis in 2009.

Rapid Reaction: Kentucky 76, UNC 69

Brandon Knight's 22 points leads Kentucky past UNC into Final Four

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Go Big Blue. They have a good team but they have been snake bit all season. Now their true talent is emerging. Calipari is one heck of a coach.

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How many years before this Final Four appearance is vacated just like his last two?

Calipari was not directly involved in the other two according to what I read. I didn't read up on the details, however.

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Go Big Blue. They have a good team but they have been snake bit all season. Now their true talent is emerging. Calipari is one heck of a coach.

spoken like a true blue fan...kentucky boy here...have been all my life....calapari is the best thing that happned to kentucky since Rupp!

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It's Butler vs UConn the title game, Anyone watching it?

I am but I am not rooting for anyone in this game. Just watching and see who wins the title. It will probably be a close game and at the game ends, it will be about 2 or 4 points apart.

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I'm watching, but am feeling quite disappointed. Sloppy play, even more sloppy shooting. Hardly feels exciting.

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