On Saturday night the Arizona Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers were engaged in a dog fight of a game, and even after 40 minutes of play the two sides were tied at 54-54. Ultimately the deciding factor in the game was star forward Frank Kaminsky, who was absolutely dominant from start to finish and is the primary reason Wisconsin is advancing to the Final Four. And once it gets there it will need him to step up to win.
There was no doubting that this game was tight nit and physical for the onlooker, and the stat sheet backed up this claim to a tee. The two sides shot 39.3 and 39.0 percent on field goals respectively, took down 39 and 38 rebounds apiece, nine and eight turnovers, 17 and 15 personal fouls and ultimately were separated by one point in the end. Suffice to say, it looked as if these two teams played 10 games that they would each win five times.
The one thing that separated the two teams was Kaminsky, who ended up with 28 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, only one turnover, 3-5 from three-point range and 11-20 on all field goals. Kaminsky used all of his 7-foot-0, 234 pound frame to dominate inside the post, specifically as he took down seven offensive rebounds, which is remarkable when you consider Arizona had 13 offensive rebounds as a team.
What really separated the big man was his ability to operate off the dribble, which aided both in attacking the rim and spotting up for mid-range and three-point shots. This ability gives Kaminsky a true all around game that is nearly impossible to match up against, and is a huge reason why he has averaged 22 points and 6.7 rebounds per game during the NCAA tournament.
Moving into the Final Four it is a sure bet that Wisconsin will be able to match any team it faces in terms of all around talent, and it will look to initiate a physical grudge match. This style has served the Badgers well this season as they picked up wins against Florida, Michigan, Michigan State and now Arizona, and should have the team confident against whomever they go up against in the Final Four.
And while it is clear that the Badgers have a very good defense, they can shoot the ball from distance and a resume to be proud of, it is very obvious that their future success rests on the shoulders of Kaminsky. Based on the results of the 2014 NCAA tournament Wisconsin should be pretty confident.