Tonight is the night. March Madness comes to an end in April. Two teams face off for all the marbles, actually no they would receive something then and thats an NCAA violation. Connecticut and Kentucky face off in a matchup of the two lowest seeds in a championship game since 1979.
Connecticut (31-8) enters Monday nights game as a #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. UConn finished third in the American Athletic Conference this season, losing to Louisville in the AAC Championship game. Led by All-American Shabazz Napier the Huskies look to stifle a very competitive Kentucky offense. Connecticut has torn through the NCAA Tournament after a close call in the first round against St. Joes that took the Huskies to overtime.
Following their overtime win UConn went on a tear beating Villanova, and then Iowa State. That set up an Elite 8 matchup with media favorite Michigan State who the Huskies handled for the entire game. After disposing of the Spartans UConn was onto the Final Four to face the Florida Gators the number one overall seed. As you already know they took care of the Gators for the second time this season. Setting up a showdown with Kentucky.
Meanwhile as UConn was making their run through the tournament Kentucky was doing the same thing. Led by the Harrison twins and Julius Randle the Wildcats have made their own storyline in the tournament this season. Kentucky has not won by more than 7 points in any of their games. Last second shots by the Harrisons have led to the Wildcats advancing.
A first round win over Kansas State set up a second round showdown with Wichita State the one seed in the Wildcats bracket. A late game shot sent Kentucky on to a re-match with Louisville, a win over instate rivals put the Wildcats up against last years NCAA runner-up Michigan. A close game in the Elite 8 sent Kentucky to the Final Four. Another last second shot against Wisconsin has put the Wildcats in the championship game.
Now that you understand how each team got here who do you pick?
You have to pick Connecticut.
As a Cincinnati Bearcats fan you go with the team from your conference. The AAC is in its first season and they have a chance to win a National Championship. Kentucky’s luck has to run out at some point, that point is tonight a little after 11pm ET.
Fun fact: neither team was in the NCAA Tournament last season. Connecticut was banned by the NCAA for academic reasons while Kentucky played so badly they were banished to the NIT, where they lost in the first round to Robert Morris.