LEXINGTON, Ky. - Being Kentucky's smallest player on the floor hasn't prevented 5-foot-9 point guard Tyler Ulis from repeatedly coming up big for the Wildcats.
He'll likely need to do it again this weekend.
Next up for Ulis and Kentucky to complete an unbeaten championship season is a Final Four rematch with Wisconsin.
The Badgers (35-3) match up well with Kentucky (38-0), averaging nearly three fewer turnovers per game and shooting slightly better from three-point range. So not only will the Wildcats have to work harder to create scoring opportunities, they must shoot better from the perimeter.
Those challenges seem tailor-made for Ulis, a pesky defender and arguably Kentucky's best ball handler. And he's capable of knocking down clutch shots; his three-pointer helped Kentucky rally to beat Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional final.
"I like to lead," said Ulis, who backs up Andrew Harrison but has frequently played with him and twin brother Aaron Harrison. "Certain guys, I just try to get them into the game and tell them what to do. I just try to be a leader on the court."
Ulis leads Kentucky averaging 3.7 assists per game, just ahead of Andrew Harrison (3.6). His lob passes to Kentucky's big men have often resulted in memorable, thunderous dunks.
"I won't say my court vision or awareness has improved, but I've been better at throwing lobs," Ulis added. "That's something I struggled with early in the year because I was used to throwing to guys and everybody was, like, 6-3 in high school. Everybody's now on the same [page], and we're doing a great job with the lobs."
Ulis is also proving to be one of Kentucky's go-to guys in the postseason, averaging 29 minutes. He has also added nearly seven points per game to his average.