The teams that played in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game might just be two of the most mis-seeded teams in the history of the NCAA tournament. The eight-seeded University of Kentucky Wildcats came out of the Midwest region, otherwise known as the region of doom. They defeated the best of the best in triumphing over 1-seed Wichita State, 4-seed Louisville and 2-seed Michigan on their way to the Final Four. Though many believed the 8-seed Kentucky Wildcats were a lock to get to the Elite Eight, few people expected them to make it to the Final Four. The upstart seven-seed University of Connecticut Huskies may have been seeded higher than the Wildcats, but no one really thought they were better.
Show me someone who picked UConn over UK and I’ll show you a liar or a member of their student body 8 times out of 10. Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels and Ryan Boatright are the only three players on the Huskies roster that one might consider marque players. However, after UConn trounced the top-seeded Florida Gators, there were those who praised Napier and UConn head coach Kevin Ollie, but there was still nobody picking the Huskies.
The Wildcats were supposed to be the first team with freshmen in the starting five to win the national championship. They were supposed to use their youth, length and athleticism to run UConn right out of the gym. Unfortunately for UK, the Huskies didn’t turn out to be the type of team to do what people expect them to. Shabazz Napier had 22 points, six rebounds and three assists and back court mate Ryan Boatright chipped in with 14 points. Napier won the Most Outstanding Player Award as well. UConn, which was banned from postseason play last season for academic reasons, won its fourth national championship by defeating Kentucky 60-54. James Young was the best player on the floor for the Wildcats and finished the game with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Associated Press All-American Julius Randle was stymied and only scored 10 points while grabbing six rebounds.
Coach Kevin Ollie proved the doubters wrong and brought the Huskies back on the scene with a vengence; now the Nation will wait and see if Geno can complete the sweep for the village of Storrs.