2014 Final Four: No one thought the Kentucky Wildcats would be in the Elite Eight let along the Final Four, but with an upset win over Michigan they are.
After losing by 19 to the Florida Gators to end the regular season there was not much hope for the Kentucky Wildcats. The team started the season off with all the hope in the world after being dubbed the preseason No. 1. So when they lost as bad as they did to the Gators and finished the regular season outside of the top 25 faith in the Wildcats was not real high outside of Lexington.
Than came the mysterious ‘tweak’ from head coach John Calipari. No one but he and the team know what it is, but it certainly appears that it is working. After all, with the win over Michigan to earn a spot in the Final Four the Wildcats completed the toughest road to the Final Four in NCAA history.
After beating Kansas State to get to the Round of 32 they faced Wichita State–the lone undefeated team in the nation and the No. 1 seed in the region. After shocking the Shockers and the nation (pun completely intended) with a 78-76 win they had to face the defending champions–the Louisville Cardinals–in the Sweet 16. A 74-69 win earned them a trip to the Elite Eight against Michigan.
Thanks to Andrew Harrison hitting a three-pointer with seconds left on the clock they were able to take down the No. 2 seed in the region, 75-72.
With the win over Michigan they became just the fourth No. 8 seed in tournament history to reach the Final Four. To make it to the national championship game the road doesn’t get any easier with Wisconsin on deck. With that in mind it might seem as if making it to the Final Four would be a victory in itself–but not for John Calipari.
“We’re going to go back and practice, go back and see if we can get better between now and the Final Four,” Calipari said. “These guys aren’t real happy about it, but we are.”[ESPN]