When you have a #7 seed and a #8 seed in the National Championship game, you would think you would see someone who is new to this stage, similar to Butler a few years ago. Yet here we are as UConn will try and win their second title in four years, or Kentucky will try and win their second title in three years. The seeds may be high, but the teams are very familiar to the big state in Jerry's World tonight.
The Huskies were one favorite to be eliminated in the first round of the tournament. St Joe's was a trendy upset pick by many coming off of their A-10 Tournament championship to send the Huskies back to Storrs quickly. after several impressive victories, UConn is one win away from glory. UConn's best players reside in the backcourt where Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright completely dominated Florida in the semi-finals. Now they have to try and stop the Harrison brothers, another tough task. Kevin Ollie will try and get his team to both use and defend the three-point like to their benefit. UConn used the arc masterfully in coming back from an early defect against the Gators, and will have to make sure Aaron Harrison does not hot a third game-winning shot from the same spot beyond the arc.
The Wildcats will have to see if their core group of talented freshmen can mesh together as a team once again. With the Harrison brothers playing well in the back court, they will look to Julius Randle to attempt to control the interior game. One question for Kentucky will be the health of Alex Poythress. Poythress who played masterfully against Wisconsin seemed to have been injured in the celebration after the game on Saturday. He said he was fine, but he will actually have to show he is fine tonight.
Either way this game should be a fun one to watch. Both teams will try and make history for their school's. UConn will try and see if they can take the first step to having duel national champions between their women's and men's basketball teams for only the second time in NCAA history. The first time it happened? Three years ago....UConn.
Kentucky has played masterfully down the stretch, but UConn has taken all the punches and delivered some in taking down Michigan State and Florida. I can see them taking one more blow, responding and playing well. Harrison will have one more shot to win tonight...but it goes off the rim and UConn wins 76-74.
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