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.
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.
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.
Wilt had some unbelievable games here. Ali and Frazier fought here. The players who will take the court at Madison Square Garden this weekend, though, don’t remember any of that. And yet they still regard the Garden as the World’s Most Famous Arena.
The sophomore forward tallied 12 points and eight rebounds in the 60-59 win over Ohio State. He didn’t miss a shot, hitting both of his field goals and all seven of his foul shots.
Among his fellow Connecticut Huskies, he ranks second in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. Playing alongside Shabazz Napier, he can go unnoticed.
A great weekend of hoops culminated in Sunday’s selection show. With the field set, the real madness can begin.
In the major conferences, Florida completed an undefeated regular season in the SEC and Cincinnati and Louisville tied atop the American.
Billy Baron, the MAAC Player of the Year, played in the ACC and Atlantic-10 before coming to Canisius, giving him a better perspective than most on the quality of play across conferences.
Iona and Manhattan, two schools separated by fewer than 10 miles, will play for the MAAC championship in Springfield, MA.