Power forward Julius Randle made a strong impression Friday night, helping the No. 8-seeded
Along with forward Aaron Gordon of top-seeded
Scoring 15 points with 12 rebounds, Randle made a number of key plays to help Kentucky survive Louisville, including his lone assist that led to an Aaron Harrison three-pointer to give the Wildcats a 70-68 lead with 40 seconds left.
Randle also sank a pair of free throws with 13 seconds on the clock, to push Kentucky up by three -- the Wildcats ultimately winning, 74-69.
The 6-foot-9, 19-year-old Randle could go the top five in June's NBA draft.
Other prospects, including Kansas'
Randle's teammate Willie Cauley-Stein left in the first half with an ankle injury. His status was unclear. The center, assuming he didn't suffer anything serious on Friday, could also be a lottery pick (top 14) in June.
Kentucky swingman James Young, projected to be a first-round pick, struggled with foul trouble against Louisville, fouling out after scoring nine points in 22 minutes.
Louisville's Montrezl Harrell, possibly a top-20 pick, also fouled out after scoring 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds.
Gordon will lead Arizona against second-seeded Wisconsin in the West Regional final in Anaheim on Saturday. Kentucky draws second-seeded Michigan in the Midwest Regional final in Indianapolis on Sunday.