Championship Game Breakdown
Round by round, the No. 7 Connecticut Huskies and No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats have stripped the word underdog of its meaning.
Now, finally – with victories over the toughest teams in the NCAA Tournament under their belts – they meet in the championship. Bet on college basketball at its best when the field of 68 is officially narrowed to one.
While sports fans everywhere love themselves a good David versus Goliath tale, this year’s Big Dance finale is more in line with a David versus David showdown than anything else. Though the Wildcats hold the slight 2.5-point spread advantage, both arrived in the tournament as high payout college basketball futures options because neither were expected to go particularly far.
After a disappointing season, the once revered Wildcats were out of the AP’s Top 25 altogether and had just 40/1 odds of winning the NCAA Tournament
Helping to put them back on track has been future NBA pro Julius Randle. Not only has the versatile big man come up big when asked to (15.1 PPG, 10.5 RPG), he’s helped his team eke through the tourney with narrow victory after narrow victory. Three of Kentucky’s five wins in the tournament have been by three or less points, all by less than eight.
For UCONN, senior swingman Shabazz Napier has taken centre stage. Despite increased defensive coverage, the guard has upped his averages to 17.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 4.9 APG.
Like Randle, however, he can’t and doesn’t do it alone.
Think you know how the grand finale will unfold? Find out tonight.