This is a team of destiny.
No, not Kentucky. That other team of destiny.
We're talking about Wisconsin now. You may have heard of them. They dominated opponents throughout the season (winning by 15 points on average) and have three genuine NBA first rounders (Kaminsky, Dekker, Hayes).
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On the move
No, they're not Kentucky. But what team is?
It doesn't matter because Wisconsin is playing like a team that's on a mission after coming within a single Kentucky basket of playing in last year's championship game. They've won each of their March Madness games by double digits, defeating talented Oregon and North Carolina squads in the process.
All with the hopes of meeting the Wildcats - yes, those Wildcats - for a Final Four rematch.
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Here are some reasons why they might be ready to win this time.
Bringing back the old guard
John Calipari won headlines for convincing twin guard phenoms Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and forward Willie Cauley-Stein, to stay at Kentucky for another year. But the real coup may have happened in Madison.
That's because all-everything forward Frank Kaminsky, who sometimes looks like a 7-foot Urkel but that's besides the point, decided to come back for his senior year with the epic explanation:
"I am at the pinnacle of my basketball playing career, at least in my eyes."
"I know the NBA has their crazy fans and all, but if you look at all of their games, there are games when teams get hardly any fans, and it looks flat out boring."
The only thing better than a quote like that is the game that Kaminsky brings to the table. With range that shoots down the court (he shot 40 percent from three this year) and a nice touch around the rim, the big goofball averages 18.4 points and eight rebounds a game.
Add Sam Dekker, a junior and potential top-20 pick, and you're cooking with gravy. He scored 23 points and 10 rebounds against North Carolina, after the Tarheels had a two-point advantage at the end of the first half.
Both players could have chosen to leave after playing pivotal roles in last year's tournament run. But both chose to stay, and that could make the difference as the Badgers pursue their first championship since 1941.
Dictating the pace
What makes Wisconsin so deadly is that, unlike most college teams, the Badgers actually know how to run a half-court offense.
That's less common than you think. Of all the Sweet 16 teams, Wisconsin has the fewest possessions per game, with 61, for the sixth-slowest pace this season. They dictate a slower game and, in doing so, force teams to execute rather than run-and-gun for easy transition layups.
Now look at another team, such as Kentucky, which ranks 199th and averages close to 67 touches per game. The Wildcats, with their superior athleticism, like to take the game to opponents -- and if they can't, then they're vulnerable.
It's a simple case of the tortoise and the hare for Wisconsin; If they can go slow and steady, and still find ways to score, teams will be hard pressed t outgun them.
And the Badgers, with revenge on their mind, could be the only team in this tournament that's destined to take out those tricky Wildcats.
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