The experienced Huskies outlast young Wildcats 60-54 to win national title.
The quickness of the Connecticut Huskies backcourt was too much for the Kentucky Wildcats to handle in the NCAA Championship game on Monday night (April 7) in Arlington, TX. The Huskies capped their magical run through the tournament with a 60-54 win over a freshmen-laden Wildcats team.
At the start of the game, the Huskies backcourt, Shabazz Napier (22 points) and Ryan Boatright (14 points), made life difficult for the Harrison twins on both ends of the floor. Napier drove through the teeth of the Wildcats defense to get his team out to an early double digit lead.
Kentucky forward James Young (20 points) hit two big threes to keep the young 'Cats in the game. Then Coach John Calipari employed a zone defense that slowed the game down in the 'Cats favor. With Kentucky making the necessary adjustment, freshman power forward Julius Randle (10 points, 6 rebounds) was able to impact the game with his size and Kentucky trimmed the lead to four by halftime.
Aaron Harrison (7 points) nailed a three to open the second half and the squads fought like cats and dogs in a see-saw battle. Coach Kevin Ollie's Huskies remained poised and fought through a more than five minute offensive slump to keep a slight lead late into the second half. This is usually where Kentucky has made its move to snatch a victory away from it's last four opponents, but not tonight. In the end, Napier and the Huskies were too quick and experienced for the Wildcats to run down.
Napier was named the Most Outstanding Player as UConn became the first No. 7 seed to win a championship. It's the school's fourth national title, their second since 2011.
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(Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)