UK vs. UConn: Three story lines

Jason King
Kemba Walker is the key to UConn's hopes in Houston

1. Kentucky vs. Kemba Walker? – The Connecticut junior erupted for 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting during an 84-67 victory over the Wildcats Nov. 24 in the Maui Invitational. And Walker – who some believe should have been chosen as the national player of the year – is averaging 26.8 points in the NCAA tournament. Junior guard DeAndre Liggins will be one of the main players charged with guarding Walker. "I don't think I can get him or shut him down," Liggins said. "That's not my approach. My job is to contain him. It's a team. We're a team. Our team's got to stop him. Not just me." Liggins is a lanky 6-foot-6 guard who hopes to keep Walker out of his comfort zone. "He's going to score points," Liggins said. "I'm going to try to make him work for everything he puts up. He's a great player. I respect him." Walker said he understands why Liggins wants to face him again after November's Maui meltdown. "I don't blame him, honestly," Walker said.

2. John Calipari vs. Jim Calhoun – It's no secret that the two coaches don't like each other from Calipari's days of recruiting against Calhoun at Massachusetts. "In the Northeast, you're so tight," Calipari said. "You're right on top of each other. It's a competitive environment. Our radio shows and television shows are in the same city. That's how it is there." Calhoun said he remembers Calipari's time at Massachusetts. "He was loud, 50 miles away, trying to fight for a little bit of turf in New England. There's not much turf in New England basketball-wise." Calhoun said he has since grown to admire Calipari for his success. "He's developed into, in my opinion, a terrific coach. I watched the way he coaches. His kids play hard, play great defense and play together. He's been getting tremendous, big-name players. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and no disdain for him as a person."

3. Youth – Three of Kentucky's top six players are freshmen: Doron Lamb, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones. It's the same situation at Connecticut with Jeremy Lamb, Roscoe Smith and Shabazz Napier. "If I had a choice between a talented team and an experienced team, I'm taking talent every time," Calipari said. "I really believe you have to have the best players."