More Late Magic from Aaron Harrison Sends Cardiac Cats to 2014 NCAA Title Game

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More Late Magic from Aaron Harrison Sends Cardiac Cats to 2014 NCAA Title Game
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DALLAS — As Andrew Harrison walked out of the locker room at halftime on Saturday night, Willie Cauley-Stein told Harrison "You've got to get that (twin) telepathy going."

About an hour later with seconds left on the clock against Wisconsin, they got going.

One Harrison to the other. Just like against Michigan. Almost from the same spot on the court 23 feet away from the basket, Aaron Harrison stood with 79,444 eyes staring him down.

Only this time, Harrison did the darndest thing before he unleashed what is now the biggest shot of his life that replaced the one against Michigan in the Elite Eight that replaced the one against Louisville in the Sweet 16. This time, Aaron Harrison smiled.

"Is he crazy?" his brother, feet away, thought. "I was trying to tell him to attack the basket."

Brother should have known better. Because Aaron Harrison knew exactly what he was doing. Just like the last one. And just like the one before that.

David J. Phillip

One Shining Moment? Better make it three.

Heck, you better make it a movie the way this season and this tournament has gone for Kentucky, which is just one win away from a national championship after a 74-73 win over Wisconsin.

These are pinch-me moments.

Only the Wildcats cannot seem to wake up from this dream. And it's getting harder and harder to remember that this season had been deemed a nightmare a mere five weeks ago when Kentucky lost at South Carolina.

If any two guys were scapegoats for the preseason's No. 1 team as it faltered during the regular season—a team called a variety of unflattering things that, put nicely, amounted to "bust,"—they were the Harrison brothers.

"Unless you've been in our locker room you really can't explain it," Andrew Harrison said. "We've been through so much scrutiny as individuals and as a team. Now to play a game to get the ultimate prize in college basketball, it's amazing."

What's amazing is that this these guys somehow lost 10 games. If the Wildcats win on Monday, they'll join the 1985 Villanova Wildcats as the lowest seed (an eight) to ever win the title.

That title was considered a miracle.

We'll need to find a better way to describe this one. Because it has finally played out just like we thought it would back in November when the 'Cats had too much talent, no matter their age, to fail.

John Calipari was so confident in this group that not once did he question Kentucky fans buying 40-0 shirts before the season. He started the movement.

The guy is the greatest marketer in the game, and he sure knows how to write a script.

All that stuff in between wasn't exactly what he envisioned, but Kentucky has the talent to overwhelm every team in the country—like they did to Wisconsin during a 15-0 run early in the second half Saturday. All of the criticism along the way has hardened this group to be able to play in the clutch like a bunch of assassins.

On Monday night, they'll face another team and player, Shabazz Napier, who could be described the same way. The Huskies, like the Wildcats, have made a point of getting down and then becoming dominant. 

This one for Kentucky was different than the others though, because for the first time in this tournament, the Wildcats weren't exactly sharp down the stretch.

With the game tied with just under a minute left, Andrew Harrison forced a bad three that missed. He followed that mental hiccup with another, biting on a Traevon Jackson pump-fake with 16.4 seconds left that sent Jackson to the line for three shots.

Before he went to the line, Calipari told his team that the ball should end up in Aaron Harrison's hands on the final possession.

"Aaron has hit some shots in the past at the end of a game," Calipari said. "Let him take it."

Aaron was supposed to fade to the corner for a kick-out from his brother. As Andrew made the drive, Aaron raised his hand for the ball but Josh Gasser was glued to him. When Andrew left his feet, he was forced to pass to Dakari Johnson.

Luckily for Kentucky, Johnson got it back to Andrew who finally found Aaron, three feet behind the three-point line on the left side of the floor, the same side where he hit the shots to beat Louisville and Michigan.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

"I didn't think about how far away it was," Harrison said. "I just saw the rim and tried to get a shot up."

Now, he's the star of this incredible story. Well, he and his enormous, well, you'll get the idea...

"Yeah, they're growing," Andrew said, laughing. "It's going to be hard for him to walk in a minute. We're all just happy he has those."

And on they go to the national championship. Two twins. All that telepathy stuff. Can't lose.

 

C.J. Moore covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @CJMooreBR.

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