Before the ball is tipped in the two national semifinal games Saturday, players and coaches will do a lot of little things to get ready. Some of those things are rituals and superstitions. Kid Reporter Jake Aron asked players from all four teams what they’ll be doing, and he got a lot of answers related to their footwear.
Here are some of the responses:
Kentucky freshman guard Dominique Hawkins: I always tie my right shoe before I tie my left shoe.
Florida junior forward Jacob Kurtz: [I'm] not superstitious, so to speak, but I try to do the same thing in the same way every single time.
Wisconsin junior center Evan Anderson: I would just say maybe tie my shoes the same way.
UConn freshman forward Kentan Facey: Before every game, we come together as a team and do something fun.
Kentucky senior guard Jarrod Polson: I always put my left shoe on first and then my right shoe. That’s probably the biggest thing.
Wisconsin freshman forward Vitto Brown: No superstitions. I like to actually change it up every game, do something different.
Kentucky freshman guard EJ Floreal: I take a nap before every pregame meal. I don’t really do anything else.
Wisconsin junior forward Duje Dukan: I put my socks and my shoes on the exact same way every time. I wear the same elbow sleeve I’ve worn all season, and I try to eat the same food. But it gets hard when you go on the road.
Kentucky freshman forward Derek Willis: Just listen to music and sleep. A little bit of everything – rap, country, rock ‘n roll.
Photo: Kid Reporter Jake Aron interviews Kentucky freshman guard Dominique Hawkins (Courtesy Marlene Navor via Twitter)