NEW YORK — His team was trailing Michigan State by 9 points with 16:33 remaining in Sunday’s East Regional championship game at Madison Square Garden. Sensing the game was starting to slip away, Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie shot a stern look at his floor leader, Shabazz Napier.
Without saying a word, Ollie managed to convey a message. It was time for Napier to seize the moment.
“They made their run and it was time for us to make ours,’’ said Napier, a 6-foot-1-inch senior from Roxbury, Mass. “And when Coach looks at me a certain way, I just know that I’ve got to be more aggressive, and I’ve got to [hit] open shots when my teammates get me the ball, and we just kept running.’’
Napier drained a 3-pointer with 16:14 to go, triggering a 12-0 run that enabled the seventh-seeded Huskies to secure the fifth Final Four appearance in school history with a 60-54 victory over the fourth-seeded Spartans before a crowd of 19,499.
“It was just an amazing feeling to do it in Madison Square Garden, and for the NCAA not to be here for  years and then we come out and we win it, it just puts a great bow on this gift,’’ said Ollie, who took his team on a tour of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, site of the Final Four, during a side trip between games this season at Houston and Southern Methodist.
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