We are at a place where we never thought we would end up. The UConn Huskies play the Florida Gators tonight at the Final Four in Arlington, TX. Shabazz Napier leads a Husky team that nobody expected would play this late in the season. They don’t have an easy task ahead of them as they play the number one overall seed in the country. Florida head coach Billy Donovan will certainly have a difficult game plan for Kevin Ollie to deal with, but if the game is close at halftime, Ollie has shown the capability as a coach to make the necessary adjustments for his team. You can watch the Huskies play the Gators live at this link: http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live
Three Keys for UConn
- Don’t get beat up. Florida is a really physical team with Patric Young and others in the paint. UConn has to rely on some short floaters, which happen to be a specialty of Napier. DeAndre Daniels has been huge for UConn this March, but he is going to have to hit his outside shots to pull the Florida big men out of the paint. In fact, look for all of the UConn big men to try and stretch the floor tonight.
- Appropriate Pushing. This isn’t in reference to child birth. UConn needs to find times to push the ball in transition against Florida. The Gators are one of the best half-court defensive teams in the country. They are also one of the best on defense in transition, but I am of the ilk that things good transition offense beats good transition defense. Napier and Jeremy Boatright will have their heads up frequently after every Florida miss.
- Keep calm and mid-range on. Jump shooting has been key for the Huskies in the tournament. Not necessarily from beyond the arc, but rather the 15 footers are falling for them in the tourney. Tonight is going to be a low-scoring game, so they must keep going with the offense that has gotten them this far.
The game tips off at 6:09 p.m. EST on TBS. Yeah, it’s the weekend so no one is working, but you can still catch the game here: http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live