Everything ends tonight. A season’s worth of expectations, narratives, ups-and-downs for each team, are going to come to a conclusion in the pinnacle of the NCAA Tournament, the National Title Game. So really, no pressure.
With the highest combined seeds ever battling it out to determine the best in all the land, though, plenty of information needs to get to your cranium.
First, since it is the most important aspect in the entertainment sense, let’s find out how and where you can watch the National Title Game.
(8) Kentucky Wildcats (29-10, 12-6 SEC) vs (7) Connecticut Huskies (31-8, 12-6 AAC)
Date: April 7
Start Time: 9:10 PM ET
Location: Arlington, TX
Arena: AT&T Stadium
Live Stream: March Madness Live
There’s still far more information than that needed, however. Especially if you’re a casual fan who is just looking to get a fix on a big-time sporting event. Maybe, more importantly if you’re a betting man, you’d be interested to know who the officials are.
- Doug Shows
- Joe DeRosa
- Verne Harris
- Mike Roberts (standby)
Kentucky News and Notes
Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein is not going to play in the National Title Game. Cauley-Stein, who was inconsistent all season, averages 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
However, despite tweaking his knee during a Final Four victory celebration, sophomore Alex Poythress is going to play.
Andrew Harrison might be overshadowed by his bother’s, Aaron Harrison, heroics in the late moments of the last few games, but make no bones about it, if Kentucky wants to win the National Title Game they will need both Harrison brothers to play high-quality hoops.
For what it is worth, despite all the praise of them having “figured it out”, Andrew Harrison has scored below his season’s average the last two games. Aaron Harrison, on the other hand, has had an outstanding NCAA Tournament, but only scored eight in his team’s Final Four victory over Wisconsin. Granted, three of those eight were about the three coolest, biggest and most important points this side of New Earth.
John Calipari is attempting to win his second National Title in just three years. That is after going the previous 19 years without any. Regardless of the game’s outcome, expect a slew of Calipari related narratives tomorrow morning.
Coach Cal’s Career in Win-Loss Form
|Massachusetts Minutemen (Atlantic 10 Conference) (1988–1996)|
|1989–90||Massachusetts||17–14||10–8||6th||NIT First Round|
|1991–92||Massachusetts||30–5||13–3||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|1992–93||Massachusetts||24–7||11–3||1st||NCAA Second Round|
|1993–94||Massachusetts||28–7||14–2||1st||NCAA Second Round|
|1994–95||Massachusetts||29–5||13–3||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|1995–96||Massachusetts||35–2*||15–1||1st||NCAA Final Four*|
|Massachusetts:||189–70 (.730)*||91–41 (.689)|
|Memphis Tigers (Conference USA) (2000–2009)|
|2000–01||Memphis||21–15||10–6||2nd (National)||NIT Semifinals|
|2001–02||Memphis||27–9||12–4||1st (National)||NIT Champions|
|2002–03||Memphis||23–7||13–3||1st (National)||NCAA First Round|
|2003–04||Memphis||22–8||12–4||T–1st||NCAA Second Round|
|2005–06||Memphis||33–4||13–1||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2006–07||Memphis||33–4||16–0||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2008–09||Memphis||33–4||16–0||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|Memphis:||214–67 (.762)**||101–25 (.802)**|
|Kentucky Wildcats (Southeastern Conference) (2009–present)|
|2009–10||Kentucky||35–3||14–2||1st (East)||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2010–11||Kentucky||29–9||10–6||2nd (East)||NCAA Final Four|
|2012–13||Kentucky||21–12||12–6||T–2nd||NIT First Round|
|Kentucky:||151–36 (.807)||64–20 (.762)|
UConn News and Notes
Is everyone done Bazz-ing yet? I hope not. Well, I hope that Shabazz Napier is at least still attempting to make his name ring synomnous alongside Kemba Walker, Jim Calhoun and all things great about UConn hoops in the NCAA Tournament.
Napier averages just under 18 points per game on the season, but has been on an even bigger hot streak in the Big Dance. In the Huskies’ last five game, when they needed some Bazz-ing to be done the most, Napier is averaging 21 points per game. It is also worth noting, though, he has also had 17 turnovers during that stretch.
DeAndre Daniels has become UConn’s x-factor guy/thing. Only (relatively speaking) averaging 13.2 ppg for the rest of the year, Daniels is scoring just under 20 ppg in the last three games. Maybe more importantly than that, though, he also has 28 rebounds in those three games.
Like Cal, expect a slew of Kevin Ollie narratives tomorrow. Unlike Calipari, though, Ollie can afford a loss here without it somehow signaling the end of college basketball as we know it. Not bad for a guy that not even the Connecticut athletic department even wanted.
Ollie’s Record in Win-Loss Form
|Connecticut (Big East) (2012–2013)|
|Connecticut (American Athletic Conference) (2013–present)|
|Connecticut:||51–18 (.739)||22–14 (.611)|
What to Expect
Not a ton of over coaching. Meaning that there should be large portions of this game that is played at a pretty furious pace. Also expect to be wowed, bordering on being self bedazzled by the athleticism that is Kentucky.
Not to be outdone, though, UConn has enough guys — namely Napier — who can handle the rock, make defenders look foolish, and hit jumpers to the delight of the crowd.
Really, all I am trying to say is that this game’s entertainment factor is going to be through the roof.
*I’m a coward?