ATLANTA – Darius Miller isn't thinking about Louisville. He's stuck in the moment.
The Kentucky senior is savoring the Wildcats' 82-70 victory over Baylor in the South Region finals Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Dome. Although it would be easy for Miller to look ahead to Saturday's national semifinal against instate rival Louisville, he's not buying into the hype, at least for now. He doesn't plan on thinking about the Cardinals until at least Tuesday.
“This feels good and we're all taking it in, especially the younger guys,” Miller said. “We could care less about who we play (Saturday). When we start preparation, that's when we'll start focusing on what we need to do.”
The feeling Miller said, resembles last year's 76-69 victory over North Carolina in the East Region title in Newark, N.J.
“It feels the same — it's a great feeling and I'm happy to be a part of something like this,” he said. “I'm happy to have the amount of support with the teams (I've been on) here at Kentucky.”
Although the Wildcats lost to eventual National Champion Connecticut 56-55 in the national semifinals last year, Miller hasn't forgotten last year's trek to the Final Four at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
“It's something you'll never forget,” he said. “All of the teams in college work hard to get to this point and we're here right now. We're blessed to be here and we're ready to take today and (Monday) to enjoy it.”
Reminiscent of his previous performances in the Georgia Dome, Miller scored eight points against the Bears and drained a jumper during a monstrous 31-5 run by Kentucky that turned a five-point deficit into a 33-5 advantage. The blitz carried the Cats throughout the remainder of the contest.
“We knew they weren't going to go away easy,” Miller said. “We just tried to keep playing the way we wanted to play (and) keep our energy up.”
The senior guard tallied 19 points in a 102-90 victory over Indiana in the regional semifinals Friday night.
In his team's four-game run in the NCAA Tournament, Miller is averaging 17 points per game. Along with his contributions, Miller has been getting help from his teammates, especiallyMichael Kidd-Gilchrist, named the Most Outstanding Player in the South Region. The players want to win a national title for Miller.
“I have a lot of respect for them and they have a lot of respect for me,” he said. “I really care for them and they care for me. We're like brothers at this point. We've got a lot of love for each other and I want to win a (national title) for them too.”
Once he arrives back in Lexington, Miller knows the attention will shift to the Cardinals.
“At this point, we're just trying to enjoy being (in the Final Four),” he said.
Following Louisville's 72-68 triumph over Florida in the West Regional finals, the Cardinals wanted an opportunity for a rematch with the Wildcats on a neutral court. Miller said the chatter “means nothing” at this moment in time.
“I'm just trying to enjoy going to the Final Four right now,” he said. “We'll be prepared when we start preparation. I know we're going to do all we can to be prepared for them. It's going to be a good game.”
Although Louisville is in the back of his mind. He knows the hype surrounding the contest is “going to be crazy.”
“We are ready for that,” he said. “It's crazy for a regular-season game. We know how it's going to be.”