Best in show at the Final Four


The Final Four features four unique and talented teams. You don't get this far, advancing to the final chapter of the college basketball season, without strength in personnel and overall skills.

But Kentucky, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Florida all have a player who is vital to his team's respective fortunes.

Here are the faces of the indispensable player for each Final Four team:

The captain


Scottie Wilbekin (Florida): Every program needs a maestro, a Duke Ellington -- someone who rarely panics, especially in turbulent times. On Feb. 15 in Lexington, the Gators had been outplayed by Kentucky. Julius Randle & Co. were just the better team. For 30 minutes. In that final 10-minute stretch, however, Scottie Wilbekin showed the college basketball world why Florida has separated itself from the pack in the past four months. The senior point guard weaved through Kentucky's young lineup, hitting big shots and drawing fouls. He just toyed with the Wildcats. He controlled the floor. When the Gators needed a spark, Wilbekin delivered. He can do it with a big shot or a steal or a deflection. He stands out on both ends of the floor (he has six steals in the tournament). That has been the Gators' storyline for months. He helps Florida find itself when it needs to. The Gators are always steady down the stretch due to Wilbekin's serenity and refusal to abandon the script. He has committed two turnovers in the NCAA tournament. Two.

It's not easy to win four games in a row, what with the level of parity in the college game. Florida has won 30 consecutive games. Yes, 30. And Wilbekin has been its leader all season. In Arlington, Texas, the Gators will probably encounter troubling stretches against Connecticut, the last team that defeated them this season, all the way back on Dec. 2. And in those moments, coach Billy Donovan will turn to Wilbekin, who's averaging 16.8 points and 3.0 assists in the tournament. And the Gainesville native, if this trend continues, will respond. He always does. He's just a playmaker.

The tank


Julius Randle (Kentucky): When Kentucky faced Michigan in the Elite Eight, the Wolverines had to ask themselves a legitimate question every time Julius Randle touched the ball: Do you stand in front of a 6-foot-9, 260-pound missile when he drives to the rim, or do you avoid bodily harm and move? Randle has the prototypical power forward's body, and he's the best player in Arlington not named Shabazz Napier. John Calipari's offense turns Randle into a projectile who shoots toward the rim from all angles. He's a mammoth in the paint, a dunking, driving, rebounding, shot-altering giant. And because he's left-handed, his approach is unorthodox. Add his lottery-level skill and you have the most dangerous player in the Final Four other than Napier. Randle (15.8 points, 12.0 rebounds per game in the tourney) can certainly lead Kentucky to its second national title in three years.

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