ARLINGTON, Texas — Connecticut left Kentucky young and done and the Final Four as national champions.
The Huskies might have been underdogs, but now they’re the top dogs in college basketball. It’s not a fluke. This was not a case of Kentucky’s fabulous, and soon to be fabulously wealthy freshmen, not rising to the occasion. It was a case of UConn and its dogged and tenacious defense — an extension of the personality of coach Kevin Ollie — and the best backcourt in America outplaying and outwilling Kentucky for 40 minutes.
Don’t fit UConn for glass sneakers after it captured its second national title in four seasons and fourth overall with a 60-54 victory Monday night in the national championship game at AT&T Stadium. The Huskies never trailed, and when the perpetual procrastinator ’Cats tried to stage another of their patented NCAA Tournament comebacks, UConn rebuffed them with clutch shotmaking and pestering defense.
UConn entered the tournament as a No. 7 seed, but the Huskies are the undisputed top team in the land. You earn that title when you take down the three most talented teams in the tournament in succession — Michigan State, Florida, and Kentucky. That’s exactly what UConn did behind Ollie, who delivered the school a national title in just his second season after replacing Jim Calhoun.
“I think we’re the best team in the country,” said UConn star guard Shabazz Napier, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. “It’s not the Shabazz Show. I don’t need to get recognized. They understand that. It’s the University of Connecticut Huskies, and we went out there and proved it.”
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