Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NCAA Tournament: Aaron Harrison Pulls An Aaron Harrison

Talk about making a name for yourself in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Aaron Harrison has more that done that. Double A-ron (Rex Chapman’s nickname for him during the UK Teamcast) is playing his own personal game of can you top this and he’s winning.

As hard as they tried to prevent it, Kentucky still found themselves down early to Wisconsin. Senior guard Ben Brust got loose for a couple of treys and Big Blue was down 17-9. Julius Randle was dealing with cramps and a rolled ankle that limited him in first half. That wasn’t what you wanted to see in his homecoming. He fought through it valiantly and finished with 16 points and five rebounds.

James Young kept Kentucky in it early by being super aggressive. He hit outside his shots but he was strong when he went into the lane and attacked the basket. He had some nice and ones to show for it too. On the flip side, Kentucky’s bigs did a great job collectively on Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky (8 points on 4-7 shooting).

Just like the Louisville (or Michigan, or Wichita State) game when Kentucky found themselves down big early they were still right there at the half. Trailing 40-36, Kentucky once again had to feel good about that.

The Badgers started the second half with a three to push it to 43-36 and Kentucky responded with an 11-0 run to take a 47-43 lead. They would push it to eight but Wisconsin wouldn’t go away either. It was nip and tuck the rest of the way. Alex Poythress had one of the more impressive goal-tending calls you will ever see. He then followed that up with another facial that can be added to his collection as he dunked all over Sam Dekker and drew the foul.

With the game tied at 71 Traevon Jackson did his best Patrick Sparks impersonation.

The only difference, Sparks went three for three. Jackson missed his first and connected on his final two to give the Badgers a 73-71 lead.

The stage was again set for Aaron Harrison. Andrew passes the ball to Aaron who is again on the left wing just as he was against Michigan. Again he let it fly, again he sealed the deal for Kentucky.

This shot seemed easier than the game winner against Michigan yet harder at the same time. How in the world is that possible?

There was more pressure with this shot. If he misses against Michigan the game is tied and more than likely headed for overtime. A miss last night against Wisconsin and the season more than likely ends there as UK was down by two.

This was shot was a little easier in the degree of difficulty department. Michigan’s Caris LeVert was all over Harrison on that game winner. He couldn’t have closed out any better without fouling him. Josh Gasser, on the other hand, was giving him a little more space and playing Aaron for the possible game tying drive.

Unlike the Michigan game, Harrison had not got into a rhythm from beyond the arc. Forget getting into a rhythm, he hadn’t even attempted a three-pointer (which may also explain Gasser playing off). He changed all of that and found his rhythm all in one shot and Kentucky is moving on the title game because of it.

So which game winner did you like the best? Which one of Aaron’s daggers was more cold-blooded to you?


 

Tags: 2014 NCAA Tournament Aaron Harrison James Young Kentucky Wildcats SEC

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