Last night, the Huskies cut down the nets in Dallas after beating Kentucky 60-54 to win the school’s fourth national championship. Consider that Kentucky needed four straight late escapes to reach the final and you get a sense for what kind of Tournament this was.
Shabazz Napier scored 22 points and Connecticut won its second NCAA title in four years, beating all those Kentucky freshmen 60-54 in the championship game Monday night.
The wildest NCAA Tournament of the modern era culminates with an 8 seed versus a 7 seed for the championship. Kentucky, a 74-73 winner over Wisconsin on Saturday, will face Connecticut, which upset Florida 64-53.
One way or another, Shabazz Napier, Frank Kaminsky and Andrew Harrison will be difference makers.
The Huskies were punished for the mistakes made by players over the four previous years. While five players left the program, others remained loyal to UConn.
On Friday, after Iowa State had cut a 17-point deficit to four with two minutes left, Boatright made what his coach called the play of the game.
Kentucky, the preseason No. 1 that entered the Big Dance unranked, has reached the Final Four as an eight seed. The Wildcats will face Wisconsin, which upset top seed Arizona in a thriller.
Kentucky, Virginia and Michigan are peaking, and Florida’s as strong as ever.
Among his fellow Connecticut Huskies, he ranks second in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. Playing alongside Shabazz Napier, he can go unnoticed.
Shabazz Napier scored 19 points, Tyler Olander scored 12 of his career-high 16 points in the second half and Connecticut ended the game with a 7-0 run to beat No. 17 Notre Dame 65-58 Saturday.
DeAndre Daniels had a career-high 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Connecticut routed DePaul 99-78 on Tuesday.
Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi each put up double-doubles and Connecticut, playing its fourth straight game without ailing coach Jim Calhoun, beat DePaul 80-54 on Wednesday night.
Eric Atkins scored 13 points and Jerian Grant hit three key free throws late as Notre Dame beat No. 24 Connecticut 50-48 on Sunday, the third straight win for the Irish and the third straight loss for the Huskies.
Notre Dame needed to hit more shots in the second half to keep pace with No. 17 Connecticut on Saturday to extend a 29-game home winning streak.