2014 NCAA Tournament: 5 lessons learned from the Elite Eight, Sweet 16

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

A.K.A. The Frank Kaminsky Appreciation Station A.K.A. 40 more minutes. A.K.A. There's a piece of net in the Badgers' mouths.

The second verse is very similar to the first. Baylor was so befuddled by Wisconsin's offense, Scott Drew felt he had no choice but to foul down 21. And if you weren't sweating out the Arizona game, I think you may be a robot or an alien.

But as we're still wowed and amazed from Franklin the Tanklin Kaminsky, let's take some things away from this weekend.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH FINAL FOUR!

1. Frank Kaminsky just might be a lottery pick next season.

Sure, he had two good games against American and Oregon. But these last two games represented a step up in weight class. Isaiah Austin is likely to get drafted whenever he declares. Kaminsky went off for 19 points, six blocks, and four rebounds. Kaleb Tarczewski and Aaron Gordon are likely going to be first-round picks when they go (Gordon is a top-five talent with his athleticism and defensive skills) and Kaminsky stepped up to meet the challenge. He kept the Badgers on their feet and in the game until they had leads to hold on to.

He had flashes of brilliance in limited time last year; this season, Kaminsky became a sensation. Next season? Next season could be real fun.

2. The Badgers can win without living by the three.

Not that they were truly ice-cold from beyond the arc, as a 36-percent performance on the weekend isn't exactly going to make you wonder just what the heck was going on. But the fact is they were two straight below-average games. Baylor's zone wasn't busted because of play from beyond the arc, and Arizona held Wisconsin's guards to 32 percent shooting overall. The Badgers won inside.

Heh. Never saw that one coming.

3.  Defensive questions? What defensive questions?

Wisconsin's had some past defensive performances that gave this year's team a little bit of a bad reputation defensively. It was one of the reasons why the Badgers were seen as a bit of a wild card as to what would happen this weekend. Well, Baylor didn't get out of the blocks and ended its season shooting 32 percent overall, and despite Arizona getting out to an early lead and making seven of their first 11 field goal attempts, the Badgers kept them under 40 percent for the game. (Arizona made 16 of its final 47 attempts, good for 34 percent.)

The day may come when the Badgers get defensively hounded again, but what was the maligned part of their game turned up in a spectacular fashion.

4. You want to know just how clutch Kaminsky was?

Eleven points and two rebounds in the final 11:17 of game action. He put this team on his back, dude. On his back.

5. The Badgers have a real shot at the title.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The last couple of years were a bargain Bo Ryan made to give his team the best chance to win. It was a higher-variance style, and those are prone to upsets. Not this year.

The Badgers are the first team since Miles Simon led Arizona to the championship in 1997 to hold wins over three No. 1 seeds. They have wins over five of Ken Pomeroy's top 10. If they beat Kentucky, that'll make six. The run may end next Saturday, but this team earned its spot. This wasn't a hot streak. This wasn't a miracle bit of Cinderella. No one may have seen this coming in November. No one felt good about this team in January. But this team earned its spot on talent.

If we're talking honestly, this team can get to the mountaintop.

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