Kaminsky, Calipari pick up AP awards at Final Four press conferences

INDIANAPOLIS—An undefeated season—thus far—a versatile post game and a Final Four matchup between the nation's top coach and player were enough to woo the Associated Press end-of-year award voters this season.

After picking up the USBWA Oscar Robertson trophy Friday morning, Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky added to his trophy case later in the afternoon, as he was presented with the AP Player of the Year award at Wisconsin's Final Four press conference. Kentucky head coach John Calipari was named the AP Coach of the Year in the following session.

Kaminsky cruised in the voting, securing 58 of the 65 votes, which are cast by members of the national media. Duke's Jahlil Okafor—who was thought to be the one that would pose the largest threat to Kaminsky—was second in the voting with just five votes.

Notre Dame's Jerian Grant and Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein both had one vote each cast in their favor.

The Wisconsin 7-footer enters the Final Four averaging 18.7 points and 8.0 rebounds and has led the Badgers to their second-straight Final Four appearance.

Calipari has guided the No. 1 overall seed Wildcats to a 38-0 record and has them two wins away from becoming just the second team in Division I history to run the table, the first being a 1974 Bob-Knight-led Indiana squad.

The Kentucky coach won the award with 40 of the 65 votes. Virginia's Tony Bennett—who was last year's runner-up as well—placed second with nine votes and Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey rounded out the voting with six votes.

The voting for both awards concluded prior to the start of the NCAA tournament.

Calipari deflected initial questions about the honor, saying that it has been his team's tenacity that has fueled the Wildcats' historic run this season.

"Every team that you coach is different," Calipari said. "This year's team, I mean, we had two vicious practices Tuesday and Wednesday. I was on them like it was December. This is a team that wants to go at each other. Our advantage is that we have a lot of guys. So when we scrimmage, you really benefit by that. They want to. They don't want to do drills. This is not a drills team. Stop the drills, throw the ball up. They go after each other. They argue every call. They fight. I have to, 'Stop it!' I'm saying that five times a practice. So we went at it."

Although he showed some possible regret at the team's tough practice regiment—if a Wildcat does not practice, Calipari will not play them—he said he is proud of his team and though it is undefeated, it is not perfect.

Kaminsky's Badgers and Calipari's Wildcats will square off Saturday at 8:49 p.m. for the second straight season to decide who will move on to the national title game.

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