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Harrison twins, Frosh 5 propel Kentucky past Wisconsin

The Kentucky Wildcats celebrate after defeating the Wisconsin

The Kentucky Wildcats celebrate after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at AT&T Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Getty Images / Tom Pennington

ARLINGTON, Texas - Now Kentucky really is one victory away from being done with its quest to win a national championship with its Freshman Five.

Aaron Harrison took a pass from twin brother Andrew and drained a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left, and then the Wildcats celebrated their 74-73 victory like the kids they are when the Badgers' Traevon Jackson missed a buzzer-beater before an NCAA-record crowd of 79,444 Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.

Kentucky (29-10) will face Connecticut in Monday night's championship game while Wisconsin (30-8) goes home heartbroken.

The Badgers took a 73-71 lead with 16.2 seconds left after Jackson drew a foul on Andrew Harrison above the three-point arc. Jackson missed the first and hit the next two, but on a night when the Badgers were 19-for-20 at the line, it was the one that got away that hurt.

Describing his twin brother's winning shot, Andrew Harrison said, "I got Aaron the ball and got out of the way, and he made the play for us. He was confident. Anyone else would at least have gotten a little closer . . . He was smiling when I gave him the ball. I don't understand it either."

James Young had 17 points, Julius Randle 16 and Dakari Johnson 10 for the Wildcats. Ben Brust and Sam Dekker each scored 15 and Bronson Koenig had 11 for Wisconsin. Frank Kaminsky was held to eight by Kentucky's athletic front line.

"When it comes down to a one-possession game, the last possession always seems so magnified," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "There were 60, 70, 80 possessions in there. We just came up one short."

It was the second straight game-winner for Aaron Harrison, who hit a three-pointer to beat Michigan in the Midwest Regional final a week earlier. So the one against Wisconsin was a case of déjà vu all over again.

"Aaron has been doing that all tournament," Dekker said. "He's got that clutch gene, and props to him for hitting that shot."

After Jackson put the Badgers in front, Kentucky coach John Calipari told his team in a timeout huddle that the ball was going to Aaron Harrison. "Anybody got a problem with that?" he asked to silence.

Andrew Harrison was supposed to drive and pass to his brother in the corner, but when Andrew nearly stepped out of bounds, he was forced to jump in the air and give the ball to Johnson, who gave it back when Andrew stepped back in bounds. By that time, Aaron Harrison had drifted back well beyond the three-point arc to NBA distance.

"I just made some space and knocked it down," he said. "You can't be scared to miss, and you want to be the guy that takes the big shot . . . I think the Michigan shot was probably a little harder [because] there was more of a hand in my face. I'm really blessed that I made them."

Wisconsin was in control for most of the opening half, but the Wildcats exploded on a 15-0 second-half run for a 51-43 lead that had the massive crowd roaring in awe. The Badgers responded with a remarkable 15-4 haymaker of their own to regain control at 58-55. When Jackson converted a three-point play for a 67-62 lead at 6:17, the Badgers had made nine of 10 shots.

Just as they have the whole tournament, Kentucky's freshmen played like grown men with the game on the line. "They have an unbelievable will to win," Calipari said. Naming the teams the Wildcats beat to get here -- Kansas State, Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin -- he added, "It's nuts, and we're still standing."

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