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J.J. Watt & Drake Collide

Houston's own Aaron Harrison renders Drake speechless, breaks J.J.Watt's heart with absurd shot

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Aaron Harrison Kentucky shot
Aaron Harrison sinks the game winner to send Kentucky to the national championship. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Wisconsin heartbreak Kentucky
Wisconsin's players felt the heartbreak of March Madness in the last-second loss to Kentucky. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Harrison Twins Kentucky
For Andrew and Aaron Harrison — the twins from Houston — the beat goes on to the national championship game. Photo courtesy of Hoop Times
John Calipari on sideline
Kentucky coach John Calipari had his team loose for the Final Four. Collegeinsider.com
Julius Randle Kentucky
Julius Randle didn't have his best game, but Kentucky is still moving on to play UConn for the national title. Photo courtesy of Hoop Times
Aaron Harrison Kentucky shot
Wisconsin heartbreak Kentucky
Harrison Twins Kentucky
John Calipari on sideline
Julius Randle Kentucky
News_Chris Baldwin_managing editor_arms crossed

ARLINGTON — Andrew Harrison never gets surprised by his brother. When it's your twin brother, you absolutely know what's coming. Except, Andrew doesn't expect this.

Not in this moment. He didn't expect to pass the ball to his brother with the clock ticking down on Kentucky's season and see Aaron Harrison . . . smiling.

"He's smiling when I pass him the ball," Andrew Harrison says, shaking his head at the absurdity of it all, the way only a younger brother can (Aaron Harrison is older by a whopping one minute) in the locker room later.

Aaron Harrison is smiling with Kentucky down by two points with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second Final Four semifinal Saturday night. He sizes up his defender and fires. From about 24 feet from the basket.

"Most guys would have tried to get a little bit closer," Andrew Harrison says. "That's what I would have done."

 "I've been playing with him our whole lives and I've never anything like that. He's crazy. He's like a superhero." 

Most guys aren't Aaron Harrison though. Most guys don't win NCAA Tournament games with guts-out, cold-blooded daggers from nowhere.

That's just what the often quieter one of the guard twins from Travis High in the Houston area does, knocking down the shot that shocks Wisconsin and its NFL alumni fans (Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson) in the stands. It ends up 74-73 Kentucky, but not until Badgers guard Traevon Jackson misses a 17-foot wing jumper — a very good shot considering the circumstances — at the final buzzer.

Not everyone can hit the game winner. Not everyone can seize the mega stage of Jerry World, the largest Final Four crowd in history (79,000 plus) and a nationwide TV audience. Not everyone has the enormous clutch confidence of Aaron Harrison.

"I was about 89 percent sure," Aaron Harrison laughs in the locker room when asked how certain he is in that moment that his game-winner is going to be good.

It's a shot destined to now live on forever in those CBS' One Shining Moment videos and all-time NCAA Tournament lore. One that brings rap star Drake rushing into the Kentucky locker room to celebrate with his boys (Drake and Kentucky coach John Calipari are unlikely buds).

"It's pretty cool to have Drake giving you love," Andrew Harrison says. "He didn't even know what to say to Aaron."

Who does? One of most unlikely NCAA title games in history — UConn, a No. 7, and Kentucky, a No. 8, are the highest set of seeds to ever play for the national championship — is now set for Monday night. It  turns out Warren Buffett picked the most unpredictable tournament year ever for his billion dollar challenge.

One marked by the rather unlikely heroics of a twin. Some of college basketball's greatest names ever consider themselves lucky to have one NCAA Tournament signature moment in a career. Aaron Harrison now has three in the same tournament — the go-ahead shot in the last minute against Louisville, the game-winning 3-pointer against Michigan in the Elite Eight and now this game-winning trey in the Final Four.

"He just has that clutch gene," Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker says.

Frank Kaminsky's HeartBreak, Calipari's Call

The clutch gene leaves many of the Wisconsin players in tears. Bo Ryan's team leads Kentucky by five points with 6:17 remaining and when Andrew Harrison inexplicably fouls Jackson while the Badger's shooting a three with 16.4 seconds left, destiny seems to be on Wisconsin's side.

"I would have been pissed if we lost on that," Aaron Harrison says. "Because I didn't think that was really a foul."

 "That shot's going to stick in our minds for the rest of our lives," Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky says. 

So Aaron Harrison makes sure Kentucky doesn't lose on it. He ensures his twin brother isn't kicking himself for the entire summer — and maybe the rest of his life. He hits The Shot.

"The kid hits a contested NBA 3-pointer," Calipari says, shaking his head.

"That shot's going to stick in our minds for the rest of our lives," Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky says.

With everyone from Troy Aikman to Danica Patrick (race car driver boyfriend in tow) to Johnny Manziel to Ashley Judd in AT&T Stadium, and warnings from the public address announcers about a possible crazy storm of hail and lightning outside, the stage seems set for an epic game. And Kentucky, Wisconsin and Aaron Harrison sure combine to deliver one.

Kentucky forward Dakari Johnson passes up what looks like a good inside opportunity to get Aaron Harrison the three. Johnson flips it back out to Andrew Harrison who passes to his twin in the game's biggest moment again. Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser is all over Aaron Harrison on the shot, arm fully extended in the Kentucky hero's face.

It's only the second 3-pointer Calipari's team makes all game.

"I didn't play very well tonight," Aaron Harrison says, who has a measly five points before he rises up with the game on the line. "But I hit a big shot."

Just like that, Kentucky pulls off another comeback. Two of them in fact.

The Wildcats need to call a timeout just 59 seconds into the second half — after getting hit by another Wisconsin three and a seven-point deficit. Calipari's team looks shaken. Then, it takes off.

How about 11-0 run in 124 seconds for an answer? That forces a Wisconsin timeout. But Bo Ryan — the 66-year-old whose face is personification of a coaching lifer —cannot stop the bleeding. Andrew Harrison hits Marcus Lee for a no-way alley-oop shortly after the break. It soon grows to a 15-0 burst in 3:35.

 Aaron Harrison makes sure Kentucky doesn't lose. He ensures his twin isn't kicking himself for the entire summer. He hits The Shot. 

Kentucky's new era Fab 5 is rolling, but it turns out that Wisconsin can take a punch. The Badgers roar back behind more threes (they hit eight triples to Kentucky's two in the game) and rebuild the lead. They show plenty of fight.

Kentucky double teams Kaminsky every time he touches the ball. Frank the Tank scores all of two points in the game's first 15 minutes. And still Wisconsin leads by eight early.

Aaron Harrison doesn't care about early though. He knows which moments make history. He knows when to smile when everyone else fears doom.

"He's crazy," Andrew Harrison says of his brother. "That smile was crazy. I've been playing with him our whole lives and I've never seen him smile like that before a shot.

"He's crazy. He's like a superhero."

Which is why Calipari once again calls for the ball to be put in the 19-year-old twin's hands in the timeout before Jackson makes two of three free throws to give Wisconsin a two-point lead.

"I told 'em, 'Boys, we're going to Aaron,' " Calipari says in describing his hardly intense huddle talk. " 'Anybody got a problem with that?' "

Nobody does. Always give it to the smiling crazy man.

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