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NCAA Final Four: 2011 unlike any other year

The NCAA Final Four this year will feature a unique first. Yes, UConn and Kentucky are there, but Butler makes a return visit and has company in the form of VCU.

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UCONN

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Undoubtedly two words come to mind for the Huskies postseason dominance of late — Kemba Walker. The national-standout guard simply dominates Connecticut’s offense. Walker propelled UConn, a No. 3 seed, past a host of late conference losses to the likes of Notre Dame, Louisville and more. The Big East Tournament sparked a revived team. Let the offensive frenzy begin.

An impressive run and a conference championship later, the Huskies have carried that momentum into the Tournament and taken off with it. Connecticut is rolling on Walker’s continuously impressive stat lines and his supporting cast of a young and talented group of freshmen. Downing San Diego State and an Arizona team fresh from upsetting Duke, UConn is the lone surviving face of the Big East.

KENTUCKY

Similar to the Huskies, it seems like the fourth-seeded Wildcats and their center Josh Harrellson are finding their rhythm at exactly the right time. Kentucky started its title quest with an assertive romp over the favored Florida Gators in the SEC Championship and found success to earn a narrow yet impressive victory against top-seeded Ohio State.

While Kentucky has an 84-67 loss at the hands of the Huskies on their schedule from November, keep in mind the growth that this team has experienced. This team has proven redemptive already. Just two games after that UConn matchup, the Wildcats fell to the Tar Heels — the same UNC team that Kentucky topped to find its way into the Final Four.

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