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Kentucky312354
17  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
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
Final
LAL 94
DEN 101
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
 
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
Final
NE 65
MAN 51
Final
COLST 75
MERC 62
Final
MISS 80
NARZ 74
Final
WASH 76
PAC 69
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Final
CHAR 58
MIAMI 77
Final
GAELS 72
UCI 69
Final
ILLST 64
ODU 45
Final
UCLA 77
LBSU 63
Final
SEAT 62
MONT 66
 
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
1:30pm Today
WEBER
NEV
 
2:30pm Today
FRES
EVAN
 
2:30pm Today
KYST
PURD
 
4:00pm Today
LSU
CLEM
 
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
DILL
 
4:30pm Today
CHIST
UGST
 
4:30pm Today
DET
MDES
 
5:00pm Tonight
ARZ
MIZZ
 
5:30pm Tonight
INDST
PEAY
 
6:00pm Tonight
FLGC
MAR
 
6:00pm Tonight
LALAF
UWMIL
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
GWEBB
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
ARST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WINT
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
APP
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
XAV
MURST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
NICST
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
SCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
VILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WCU
 
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
CLAYST
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
PEPP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
KU
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
USF
HAW
 
8:30pm Tonight
OKST
ORST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAM
PITT
 
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
 
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
 
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
 
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
Final
ANA 2
ARI 1
Final
VAN 4
CHI 1
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
Final
NYG 28
DAL 31
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NYJ
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL