Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Wisconsin won a heavyweight fight in a football stadium against a team chasing college basketball history.
And if you think that sounds weird, consider this: The Badgers became the only team to beat Kentucky this season despite star 7-footer Frank Kaminsky going nearly 17 minutes without scoring in the second half.
Kaminsky still finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Wisconsin ended the game on a 15-4 run over the last 4 1/2 minutes to beat Kentucky 71-64 in a Final Four thriller on Saturday night.
The Badgers will play for an NCAA title on Monday night for the first time since winning their only championship in 1941. They'll face Duke, which beat Michigan State by 20 points in the opener at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Kentucky failed in its quest to become the first undefeated NCAA basketball champion since Indiana went 32-0 in 1976.
"I think the only time we saw their confidence rattle was at the end of the game when we finally took the lead and we weren't going to look back," said Kaminsky.
Sam Dekker added 16 points for Wisconsin (36-3) and Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig each scored 12.
The Badgers led by as many as nine points in the first half and eight in the second but let Kentucky back in both times.
The Wildcats led with under eight minutes remaining on Aaron Harrison's layup, which came after a Koenig 3 was waived off at the other end because of a charging call away from the ball.
The Badgers trailed 60-56 before Dekker's jumper ended a seven-minute field goal drought. The shot came after Wisconsin pleaded, but didn't get, a foul call on Kentucky's Trey Lyles, who hit Josh Gasser in the face as they battled for position under the basket.
But another call went Wisconsin's way when Hayes put back his own miss after the shot clock appeared to expire, tying the game at 60-60.
Dekker's straightaway 3 on the next Badgers possession gave them the lead for good with 1:42 left. The junior forward took a charge on Lyles at the other end, then made a foul shot to give Wisconsin a four-point.
The Wildcats (38-1) and their roster of NBA talent made just one field goal over the last 6 1/2 minutes after taking their 60-56 lead at the end of an 8-0 run. They were led by 16 points from freshman forward Karl-Anthony Towns, who is likely to be one of the top two picks in the NBA Draft, and 25 combined points from twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Harrison.
It was Aaron Harrison who played hero in last year's Final Four game between Kentucky and Wisconsin when he knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds.
On Saturday, he airballed a 3 with around eight seconds left and a chance to get Kentucky within a point.
"We normally execute down the stretch and we didn't tonight," said Kentucky coach John Calipari, who took the Wildcats to a fourth Final Four in the last five years.
Said Kaminsky: "Last year they came out an hit a shot that beat us. This year we knew we had to get a stop at the end of the game. We were able to force a bad shot and come out on top."
For a moment, Calipari's players sat with their arms around each other during the team's postgame news conference. It wasn't just that the Wildcats chased history, Calipari said, it's how they did it.
"I can't say enough about what these kids did to get to this point against the schedule they played," he said.
Wisconsin will get another shot at Duke after losing to the Blue Devils 80-70 on Dec. 3 in Madison.
"We have some work to do," said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, who has led the Badgers into the NCAA Tournament in all of his 14 seasons. "These guys have to get back and get some rest and hopefully we have some energy on Monday night."
After scoring just eight points against Kentucky in last year's Final Four, Kaminsky had 16 with 17:06 remaining on Saturday night. He didn't score again until making two free throws with 24.5 ticks left on the clock and then added another two foul shots in the final seconds to punctuate the win.
The Big Ten-champion Badgers have won 11 straight since losing to Maryland on Feb. 24, making it through the West Region as a No. 1 seed with wins over Coastal Carolina, Oregon, North Carolina and Arizona.
Kentucky was trying to make a second consecutive title game -- and third in four years -- after falling to Connecticut in last year's championship. The Wildcats rolled through the Midwest Region with wins over Hampton, Cincinnati and West Virginia before facing a stiff test from Notre Dame last week, when they beat the Irish in the final seconds in Cleveland.
Wisconsin had 12 offensive rebounds, including seven in the first half. The score was tied seven times before halftime, but it wasn't always close. The Badgers led by nine points with 9:16 remaining but Kentucky went on a run, taking its first lead since the opening minutes on Lyles' dunk with 32 seconds left in the half. Koenig's jumper tied the score at 36-36 at halftime.
The teams combined for just 17 assists on 49 made baskets ... Kentucky made its first eight foul shots until Towns missed with 16 seconds left. Wisconsin was 18-for-22 at the line ... The Wildcats shot 48.1 percent, slightly better than the Badgers at 47.9 percent ... There were 11 ties and seven lead changes in the game.