Heading into the Final Four, the 2014 NCAA tournament has seen a wide variety of outstanding individual performances. But no player has been more integral to his team’s success throughout the tournament than Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, who has become a household name during Wisconsin’s tournament run and has been the tournament’s MVP to this point.
The Badgers have had both blowout victories and close calls during the tournament, and Kaminsky has been a central figure in all of them. When Wisconsin faced a 12-point halftime deficit against Oregon and looked destined for another premature tournament exit, Kaminsky scored a team-high 19 points, including nine points in the first five minutes of the second half to help spark the comeback and take the Badgers to the Sweet 16.
In the Sweet 16 against Baylor, Kaminsky was a game-changing player on both ends of the floor. He scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Kaminsky did much of his damage inside, giving the Badgers a presence in the paint early in the game, which allowed Wisconsin to have the offensive balance necessary to take control of the game early and remain in control throughout.
Defensively, Kaminsky did a nice job containing Baylor center Isaiah Austin, preventing him from making a significant impact on the game.
In the regional final against Arizona, Kaminsky once again scored a game-high 28 points, making 11 of his 20 field goal attempts on a night when most of Wisconsin’s usually dependable players struggled to score. During the game, he showcased his versatility, knocking down a trio of 3-point shots while also grabbing 11 rebounds. Of course, Kaminsky came through in the clutch, scoring six of Wisconsin’s 10 points in overtime, including the Badgers’ final two points of the game, which ended up being the difference.
Wisconsin’s run to the Final Four has certainly been a team effort, but without Kaminsky playing at such a high level throughout the tournament, there’s no way the Badgers would still be alive. He has been a catalyst in their games and a driving force during their journey to the Final Four. Thus far, Kaminsky has been the most valuable player in the entire tournament.
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