Mar 30, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; KKentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari at a press conference after the finals of the midwest regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament against the Michigan Wolverines at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NCAA Tournament National Title Game: Everything you need to know

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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

Picture-box: CBS

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.

Officiating Crew
  •  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

 

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Massachusetts Minutemen (Atlantic 10 Conference) (1988–1996)
1988–89 Massachusetts 10–18 5–13 8th
1989–90 Massachusetts 17–14 10–8 6th NIT First Round
1990–91 Massachusetts 20–13 10–8 T–3rd NIT Semifinals
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
2004–05 Memphis 22–16 9–7 T–6th NIT Semifinals
2005–06 Memphis 33–4 13–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2006–07 Memphis 33–4 16–0 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2007–08 Memphis 38–2** 16–0** 1st** NCAA Runner-up**
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
2011–12 Kentucky 38–2 16–0 1st NCAA Champions
2012–13 Kentucky 21–12 12–6 T–2nd NIT First Round
2013–14 Kentucky 29–10 12–6 T–2nd NCAA
Kentucky: 151–36 (.807) 64–20 (.762)
Total: 554–172 (.763)***

 

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

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Connecticut (Big East) (2012–2013)
2012–2013 Connecticut 20–10 10–8 T–7th
Connecticut (American Athletic Conference) (2013–present)
2013–2014 Connecticut 31–8 12–6 T–3rd NCAA
Connecticut: 51–18 (.739) 22–14 (.611)
Total: 51–18 (.739)

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.

Prediction

*FUN

-
*I’m a coward?

 

 

Tags: 2014 National Title Game 2014 NCAA Tournament Connecticut Huskies Kentucky Wildcats National Title Game

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