2014 NCAA Final Four: Kentucky Wildcats, Coach John Calipari look for win over Wisconsin

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Thousands of fans clad in blue and white have joined their favorite basketball team in Arlington Texas, for what could be a historic NCAA basketball weekend for the Kentucky Wildcats and Coach John Calipari.

The 68-team tournament has come down to this: Florida will face Connecticut (UConn), and Kentucky will compete with Wisconsin Saturday night at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The winners of these matchups will have the chance to win it all Monday night in the Championship Game.

The Cats, with another flock of freshman, practiced Friday afternoon.

The starting five are eerily reminiscent of the champions that won the tournament in 2012 : Loaded with five guys in their first year of college hoops at Kentucky, likely to becomes professional players before their sophomore year. The Kentucky basketball roster trend has become known as "One-and-done."

Calipari had a spin on that term Friday.

"The connotation that's been built around 'one-and-done' is so ridiculous ... to make it a bad thing, a negative thing" Coach said. "It's not used in other sports, it's not used in other areas of life, for people to stay in school a year and leave."

"The thing we've been talking about is succeed and proceed," Calipari said.

RELATED: One-and-done working just fine for Kentucky

Some say this tournament is Texas-sized, but just how big could the win be for the boys in blue and white?

According to Jimmy Burch, writer for the Star-Telegram , "Kentucky, despite starting the season at No. 1 in the AP preseason poll, tumbled to a No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region by losing 10 games before receiving an at-large berth from the selection committee. If the Wildcats cut down the nets, they would join Villanova (1985) as the only No. 8 seeds in tournament history to claim an NCAA title. No lower-seeded team than Villanova has taken home the trophy."

The big win would mark the end of a tough journey for the Cats. In fact, it would be a path that no other team has taken since 1985, when the tournament expanded from 64 to 68 teams.

Kentucky's Final Four map included a win over 9-seed Kansas State, 1-seed Wichita State, 4-seed Louisville and 2-seed Michigan. A win Saturday would be over 2-seed Wisconsin, and the victory would be claimed over 1-seed Florida.

"We got here through an absolute mine field," UK Coach John Calipari told the Lexington Herald Leade r, "and happened to not step on a mine. I don't even know what to call it what we just went through."

RELATED: Kentucky Wildcats took the hard way to verge of Final Four

In Vegas, Florida is a 6.5 favorite over UK's rating of about 1.5 points.

Plus, Florida has lost once since December 2 - that was to UConn.

This 2013-14 season, the Florida Gators marked three wins all three times they played Kentcuky. One win was by 19 points, the second was by ten points and the last win - the SEC Championship game - was by only a point.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: UK's 2014 Road to the Final Four
Kentucky's Julius Randle set for homecoming in Dallas at Final Four
Kentucky and Wisconsin governors place friendly wager on Final Four outcome
Kentucky Wildcats earn Final Four trip on Aaron Harrison's late-game 3-pointer
Kentucky tops Louisville 74-69 in Midwest Regional
Kentucky upsets Wichita State, advances to take on rival Louisville in the Sweet 16

WCPO Sports Anchor/Reporter Ken Broo contributed to this report.

Print this article Back to Top