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Kentucky312354
Connecticut352560
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60


Kentucky (29-10) vs. Connecticut (31-8)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Monday, April 7, 9:10 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: AT&T Stadium (77,122) -- Arlington, Texas. Television: CBS. NCAA Tournament Record: Kentucky 116-46, UConn 57-29. Series Record: Connecticut leads, 3-1.

GAME NOTES: The 2014 national championship game comprises the two lowest seeded teams in NCAA Tournament history, as the Kentucky Wildcats tangle with the Connecticut Huskies at AT&T Stadium on Monday night.

As the No. 8 seed out of the Midwest Region, Kentucky's road to its 12th all- time national championship game appearance hasn't been an easy one. Coach John Calipari's club opened the tourney with a 56-49 win over Kansas State, and followed that with a 78-76 triumph against previously undefeated and No. 1 seed Wichita State. A rematch with intrastate rival and defending national champ Louisville resulted in a 74-69 victory, and then came a 75-72 thriller versus Michigan in the Elite Eight. The 'Cats then took on No. 2 seed Wisconsin in Saturday's Final Four, and got another clutch shot from Aaron Harrison to fall as they prevailed in a 74-73 final.

Overall, Kentucky has won seven of its last eight games, the lone loss coming in the SEC Tournament title tilt to Florida (61-60), and the Wildcats bring a national-best 116-46 NCAA Tournament record into this contest. UK, which has won 11 straight games in the Big Dance and is a remarkable 18-2 in the event under Calipari, has won eight national crowns in its history, with the latest coming in 2012 when it defeated Kansas, 67-59.

Kevin Ollie's Huskies, the No. 7 seed out of the East Region, have had an even more surprising run to this point in the tournament. UConn opened the proceedings by surviving a second-round clash with Saint Joseph's (89-81 OT), and that was followed by a third-round upset of another Philadelphia-area school in second-seeded Villanova (77-65). A Sweet 16 victory over Iowa State (81-76) came next, and the East Regional final pitted the Huskies against Michigan State, with Ollie's club pulling off another shocker in claiming a 60-54 triumph. Next up was a Final Four bout with No. 1 overall seed Florida, and UConn took that one with a 63-53 verdict.

The Huskies have enjoyed plenty of postseason success in recent years, winning the national championship in 1999, 2004 and 2011. The team owns a 57-29 record in the event all-time, spanning 31 appearances. Having played in three of the last six Final Fours, this is their fourth all-time appearance in the national championship game where they have yet to lose.

Connecticut owns a 3-1 series advantage against Kentucky, which includes a pair of victories in the NCAA Tournament. The most recent encounter took place during the 2011 Final Four, with the Huskies prevailing in a 56-55 final.

Kentucky is a very young team, starting five freshmen, including Aaron Harrison who for the second straight game drained a 3-pointer to lead his team to victory. James Young and Julius Randle paced the Wildcats against Wisconsin by netting 17 and 16 points, respectively, while Dakari Johnson was the squad's final double-digit scorer with 10 points. Aaron Harrison went just 3- of-8 from the floor to finish with only eight points, but his late-game heroics once again spurred the 'Cats on to a white-knuckle victory, and into tonight's title tilt.

Harrison spoke recently about the high his team has been on during its NCAA Tournament run.

"It has been amazing. It is everything I expected going to Kentucky; winning games and just having fun. That is what we were lacking before, and we are just really having a ball playing now."

Kentucky committed just four turnovers against the Badgers, marking the fewest turnovers in any NCAA Tournament game in school history. The Wildcats shot an even 50 percent from the field, but only attempted five 3-pointers, hitting two of them.

Randle, who has a national-best 24 double-doubles this season, was named a Third-Team All-American by the AP as he is averaging 15.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He is the fifth UK freshman coached by Calipari to receive All-America accolades. Other double-digit scorers for the Wildcats include Young (14.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Aaron Harrison (13.9 ppg) and Andrew Harrison (10.9 ppg, 3.9 apg). Leading shot blocker Willie Cauley-Stein (106 blocks, 6.1 rpg) is expected to miss this game with an ankle injury, but reserve Alex Poythress (5.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg) should be able to suit up after injuring his knee in the post-game celebration on Saturday. He scored eight points and grabbed seven boards in 29 minutes of action against the Badgers.

DeAndre Daniels tallied a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead Connecticut to its double-digit win over Florida, ending the Gators' 30-game winning streak in the process. It was also the second time this season the Huskies beat UF, doing so at home on Dec. 2, 65-64. On Saturday, Ryan Boatright scored 13 points, Shabazz Napier, who was recently named the 2014 Bob Cousy Award winner as well as a First-Team All-American, added a dozen to go with six assists, and Niels Giffey chipped in with 11 points for a UConn squad that finished with assists on half of its 24 field goals, while at the same time holding a potent Florida offense to its lowest point total of the season (tied with the 53 points it put up in a loss at Wisconsin in early November).

UConn knocked down 55.8 percent of its field goal attempts, while limiting the Gators to 38.2 percent. Florida was just 1-of-10 from beyond the arc, and was outscored in the paint, 36-24.

Coach Ollie praised his team's effort against Florida, particularly at the defensive end.

"We played great second-half defense and kind of took them out of their pick- and-roll motion offense. We started making shots with great ball movement and great body movement. They stayed together and they showed some true grit and toughness. I'm very proud of their effort."

Napier (17.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.9 apg), Daniels (13.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Boatright (12.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.4 apg) are all averaging double figures in the scoring column, helping the Huskies to a +8.7 scoring margin on the season. They have been especially tough on defense, limiting the opposition to 39.2 percent field goal efficiency, while also coming up with nearly 13 turnovers per contest.

Very few folks had predicted this championship matchup, but these are two programs that boast quite a bit of postseason success over the years. UConn can win its fourth title in the last decade and a half, while Kentucky can inch closer to national leader UCLA (11 titles) by adding its ninth here.

The Wildcats began the season as the top team in the land, and their magical run through the NCAA Tournament will assure them of the No. 1 ranking when it's all said and done.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kentucky 69, Connecticut 66

04/07 10:39:46 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
Final
NYI 3
CAR 5
Final
DUKE 73
SYR 54
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
CHA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
UTA
 
Final
WAS 99
DET 95
Final
MIA 91
ATL 93
Final
NYK 103
TOR 98
Final
MIN 97
MEM 101
Final
DAL 94
BRK 104
Final
UTA 82
MIL 75
Final
PHO 74
SAN 101
1:00pm Today
CHI
LAC
 
3:30pm Today
HOU
CLE
 
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
CHA
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
GSW
 
6:00pm Tonight
IND
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
POR
 
6:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
 
Final
LIP 94
KNST 75
 
Final
GHND 47
NAVY 57
 
Final
LAF 74
ARMY 64
 
Final
AMER 69
BUCK 71
 
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
STJ 81
GEOR 70
Final
CLEM 70
GT 63
Final
COL 61
LEH 55
 
Final
FSU 59
LOU 81
Final
MD 66
MICH 56
Final
UGA 68
MIZZ 44
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
LAS 56
RIU 59
Final
UNH 65
MAINE 56
 
Final
IUPUI 80
NEOM 87
 
Final
WINT 80
PBY 53
 
Final
VMI 69
SAMF 80
 
Final
CITA 54
WCU 67
 
Final
DEP 53
BUT 67
Final
LONG 70
CAMP 65
 
Final
TULA 47
CIN 63
Final
VCU 55
DAY 59
Final
TOWS 60
DEL 65
 
Final
WMARY 66
DREX 80
 
Final
JVU 75
FLGC 67
 
Final
EVAN 67
ILLST 69
 
Final
BRAD 52
INDST 60
 
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
WICHS 74
NIOWA 60
Final
UWGB 83
OU 63
 
Final
LSU 73
MISS 63
Final
OKLA 67
TCU 60
Final
BING 76
UMBC 69
 
Final
AFA 60
UTST 74
Final
GTDNS 79
VERM 73
 
Final
XAV 66
VILL 78
Final
MNTER 74
WAGN 64
 
Final
ILLCH 61
WRST 46
 
Final
YALE 90
SARAHLAW 55
 
Final
UAB 100
MTST 95
Final
NDAK 65
SUTAH 71
 
Final
LIB 77
UNCA 95
 
Final
CHIST 65
WLVRN 44
 
Final
UMO 57
BGU 62
 
Final
SHU 84
LIU 73
 
Final
APP 66
LAMON 43
 
Final
VANDY 73
ALA 66
Final
KENT 84
ARK 67
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
Final
MRGST 77
COPST 88
 
Final
SHU 67
CREI 66
Final
BONA 92
DUQ 75
Final
MERC 69
ETST 64
 
Final
UMASS 82
FORD 74
Final
RAD 72
GWEBB 62
 
Final
JMU 82
HOF 73
 
Final
BU 70
HC 77
 
Final
KYST 70
ISU 69
Final
DELST 65
MDES 69
 
Final
LOYC 65
MIZST 51
 
Final
IDAHO 80
MNTST 73
 
Final
MCNST 83
NICST 78
 
Final
TTU 63
OKST 62
Final
PORT 66
SDU 78
 
Final
BRY 61
Terriers 51
 
Final
RMU 71
RFLSH 70
 
Final
UVA 69
VT 57
Final
BAY 78
WVU 66
Final
FUR 60
WOFF 62
 
Final
SILL 63
DRAK 57
 
Final
FD 73
CCST 66
 
Final
WMICH 80
EMICH 72
 
Final
CSOU 97
HIGH 93
 
Final
UNCG 58
CHAT 61
 
Final
SD 80
SDKST 64
 
Final
CARK 74
SELA 72
 
Final
KU 69
TEX 64
Final
EWASH 76
MONT 77
 
Final
TROY 64
UGST 75
 
Final
TXST 70
ARKST 60
 
Final
UNT 57
ODU 70
Final
CORN 45
DART 56
 
Final
NCAT 77
FAM 65
 
Final
PSU 77
IOWA 81
Final
MORE 87
JVST 55
 
Final
PEPP 65
LMU 49
 
Final
SCAR 81
MSST 68
Final
BRO 62
PRIN 80
 
Final
NEV 62
SJST 51
Final
SCST 57
SAV 68
 
Final
BEL 88
TENST 62
 
Final
UF 66
TENN 49
Final
ALAST 49
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SOUTH 71
ALCOR 63
 
Final
JST 73
MVSU 49
 
Final
SEMIZ 89
PEAY 65
 
Final
TOL 70
BST 59
 
Final
KSU 65
BUF 71
 
Final
LBSU 70
CSFU 47
 
Final
MARS 79
FATL 63
Final
STLU 50
GMAS 78
Final
DAVID 77
GWU 66
Final
CLMB 70
HARV 80
 
Final
LAM 79
INCWORD 66
 
Final
YOUNG 74
UWMIL 82
 
Final
ELON 74
UNCW 55
 
Final
ILL 86
NW 60
Final
YALE 55
PENN 50
 
Final
STJOE 57
RICH 63
Final
UNF 86
STET 71
 
Final
HART 59
USB 74
 
Final
DUKE 73
SYR 54
Final
EKENT 70
TENT 67
 
Final
LATU 76
TXSA 66
Final
NKENTUCKY 84
USCU 65
 
Final
MAST 84
WILL 64
 
Final
UMKC 70
GRCN 65
 
Final
NO 75
ABCHRIST 55
 
Final
TENNM 67
MURST 73
 
Final
HOW 67
HAMP 68
 
Final
ALAAM 72
PVU 75
 
Final
SDST 46
BSU 56
Final
NILL 73
CMICH 55
 
Final
RICE 76
CHAR 77
Final
ORU 60
DEN 57
 
Final
WKENT 77
FIU 61
8:00pm Saturday
TXPA 0
NMST 0
 
Final
COC 56
NE 65
 
Final
SCU 71
GAELS 70
 
Final
HOUB 87
STEPH 102
 
Final
SMISS 63
UTEP 60
Final
MEM 72
TULSA 74
Final
UNLV 69
WYO 57
Final
TXARL 82
ARKLR 73
 
Final
TEXAM 80
AUB 55
Final
LALAF 68
GSOUT 58
 
Final
ARKPB 66
GRAM 57
 
Final
TAMCC 61
SHSU 59
 
Final
UTAH 57
ARZ 63
Final
NCOL 76
NARZ 74
 
Final
GONZ 70
BYU 73
Final
WEBER 61
IDST 57
 
Final
FRES 59
NMU 55
Final
USF 65
PAC 55
 
Final
CPSL 56
UCD 66
 
Final
PORST 60
SACST 73
 
Final
SEAT 53
CALST 43
 
Final
CSNO 83
UCR 76
 
Final
USC 70
WASH 55
Final
UCSB 54
UCI 51
 
2:00pm Today
NIAG
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2:00pm Today
PETE
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2:00pm Today
RIDE
MAR
 
2:00pm Today
MAN
QUIN
 
2:00pm Today
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3:00pm Today
CAL
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HOU
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PROV
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WAKE
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7:00pm Tonight
STAN
OREG
 
7:30pm Tonight
OSU
PURD
 
8:30pm Tonight
COL
ARST
 
9:30pm Tonight
UCLA
WASU
 
Final
FLA 5
BUF 3
Final
NAS 3
DET 4
Final
NYI 3
CAR 5
Final
CLB 0
NJD 2
Final
BOS 4
ARI 1
Final
MON 4
TOR 0
Final
PHI 4
NYR 2
Final
COL 1
MIN 3
Final
SJS 2
OTT 4
Final
EDM 1
STL 2
4:00pm Today
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LOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
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ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
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STL