Kentucky's rise falls one step short of Final Four

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Kentucky coach John Calipari delivered on his promise to return the Wildcats to national prominence quickly.

Taking the next step, however, could be more difficult.

Kentucky's remarkable year ended with a 73-66 loss to West Virginia in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.

Though they finished one step short of the Final Four, Calipari praised his team for winning 35 games, the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles and spending the entire year ranked in the top 5.

Freshman point guard John Wall and freshman center DeMarcus Cousins became stars and electrified one of the nation's most ardent fan bases.

Calipari called it a great start to his tenure. Next year, however, could be tough. Wall, Cousins and junior forward Patrick Patterson are all likely heading to the NBA, and they could be joined by freshmen Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton.

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