OK, I will freely admit that I did not see #7 seed UConn ending up in Finals vs. #8 seed Kentucky. A few people did actually pick these two teams to be the last two teams left, but I suspect most of them are alum’s of one school or the other, or maybe both in a few rare cases. When UConn defeated #1 ranked and #1 seed Florida they totally destroyed the hopes and brackets of hundreds of thousands (millions?) on college basketball fans. I have been informed by a friend and fellow hoops fan that there was less than a 1% chance that a #7 seed would meet a #8 seed in the Finals.
I did pick Kentucky to beat Wisconsin, which they barely did, but they got the W and and that is all that matters. They have done that throughout this tournament. It really is amazing how Kentucky, a team starting five freshmen, keeps winning close games against very talented and more experienced teams. The Wildcats and their coach, John Calipari, deserve great credit for making it this far. This team does not play like freshmen anymore, that’s for sure.
Kentucky is a 2 1/2 point favorite to beat UConn and that seems about right to me. I would expect this game to be close.
Kentucky will have their hands full with UConn’s prolific point guard, Shabazz Napier. If he gets loose and drops 30 plus on the Wildcats the Huskies can win this game, although Napier is hardly the only weapon the Huskies have. Kevin Ollie, UConn’s coach, has done an outstanding job of preparing his team. If they can beat Florida they should be capable of beating any team, if everything goes right for them. I think UConn has to play a nearly perfect game to win. Napier may indeed be the best player on the court tonight, but Kentucky’s entire starting five could end up going to the NBA next year, that’s how good they are. Kentucky’s overall size and athletic ability will give them an advantage.
Kentucky wins 72-68
POST GAME Comments:
Wow, I was wrong again. However, in fairness, I did note that UCONN had a shot if Shabazz Napier played very well, which he did, scoring a game high 22 points. I thought Napier might have to score 30 in order for the Huskies to win, but that was clearly not the case, because the UConn D kept Kentucky’s “fab five” freshman under control.
So, Congrats to UConn. Outside of UConn fans and alum’s I think it is fair to say few of us college basketball fans saw this coming.