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After fits and starts, youthful Wildcats finally peaking as NCAA title game looms vs UConn

Losses are no easier to stomach in November than in March, Kentucky coach John Calipari makes clear, but they are somewhat easier to accept if they are the byproduct of progress.

You see, sometimes you have to take a step or two backward to make giant leaps forward.

So while Calipari was bemoaning last fall the growing pains that came with fielding a team full of freshmen, and a process that seemed to be taking an insufferable amount of team, he also knew in the back of his mind that the Wildcats were slowly starting to get it.

There is no greater evidence of that than the fact that Kentucky, seeded eighth in the NCAA tournament, will try for its ninth national championship on Monday night against Connecticut.