Are you kidding me!?!?!?
In his first NCAA Tournament, head coach Kevin Ollie led the UConn Huskies on one of the most unlikely national championship runs in college basketball history. UConn defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in a game that the Huskies led wire-to-wire. The Wildcats brought the score to one with about four minutes left, but Shabazz Napier drained a three to put the Huskies up four. A number that proved to be insurmountable for the young, Kentucky team.
Napier and Ryan Boatright proved that college basketball is still a guard’s game with their play this tourney. They filled up the stat sheet and gave James Young and the Harrison twins headaches all night. Boatright played very pesky defense, even after rolling his ankle late in the contest. Napier was named the Final Four Most Outstanding player, an honor he earned with his play on both offense and defense.
Napier, Tyler Olander, and Niels Giffey were able to start and end their collegiate careers with national titles. They were all members of the 2011 National Championship team that defeated Butler handily, and cemented their NCAA legacies with last night’s victory. Napier did his best Kemba Walker impersonation during the tournament and it will be interesting to see how he manages at the next level.
Ollie is really a fantastic story. This was just his second season as a head coach in the NCAAs. He spent much of his career as a backup point guard around the NBA, and was always commended for his work ethic and basketball IQ. Though I am sure he has aspirations of building a great program at UConn, it will be hard for him to avoid NBA coaching whispers this offseason. He has already been linked to the Oklahoma City Thunder because of his relationship with Kevin Durant, but I am getting way ahead of myself.
Let’s just commend Ollie for his job this season and the 2014 UConn Huskies for completing this historic run. Kudos to John Calipari and his phenom freshman, but the experience on the court clearly helped UConn get the win. Congratulations to UConn and to Kevin Ollie for one of the more memorable months in all of college basketball.