UConn advances to the National Championship game after taking down Florida in the Final Four.
The #7 UConn Huskies started their Final Four match up against the prohibitive favorite & #1 overall seed Florida Gators down 16-4. The Huskies started off slow but responded with the heart of a champion, outscoring the Gators 53-31 and picking up the 63-53 victory to advance to the National Championship game on Monday night.
UConn’s resilient comeback was led by their defense and perimeter shooting to take the fight back to the Gators. Along with completely outscoring Florida, UConn outrebounded the Gators and dismantled the Florida squad who were undefeated in their last 30 games. The last time the Gators lost? In December against UConn in Storrs.
DeAndre Daniels continues to put the Huskies on his back. He dominated the tough Gators defense with drives to the rim and clutch jumpshots. Daniels led UConnn with 20 points and 10 rebounds. UConn guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatwright controlled the pace of the game on the offensive end and kept the SEC Player of the Year Scottie Wilbeken at bay. Napier finished with 12 points and six assists and Boatwright added 13 points for UConn.
Florida registered their lowest point total of the year in this Final Four match up against UConn. Wilbeken was having a great tournament and season for Florida, but Wilbeken and Michael Frazier were out of sorts against the UConn defense. They were the two most reliable Gators and they picked the worst game of the year to get shut down.
Second year UConn coach Kevin Ollie is in his first NCAA Tournament and has a chance to win a national championship. He continues to lead this squad to incredible victories and they are another step closer to making another improbable run to a title. Memories of Kemba Walker in 2011 come to mind with this tough Huskies team. UConn is also trying to become only the 2nd champ seeded 7th or higher to win it all (#8 Villanova in 1985).
UConn will face the winner of tonight’s match up between the #8 Kentucky Wildcats and the #2 Wisconsin Badgers on Monday night in the National Championship game.
-Patrick Hazel (@pattywack25)