ARLINGTON, Texas (Sporting Alert, Box Score) — Shabazz Napier had 22 points, six rebounds and three assists, in leading the No. 7 seeded Connecticut (32-8) to a 60-54 win over the Kentucky and lifted the NCAA national men’s basketball title at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Monday night.
“You’re looking at the hungry Huskies,” Napier said to the crowd and TV audience after the thrilling victory. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you banned us.”
Ryan Boatright finished with 14 points as the Huskies secured its 4th men’s basketball national crown and became the first seventh-seed to win the title.
UConn also won titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011.
“Somebody told me we were Cinderellas, and I was like, no, we’re UConn,” coach Kevin Ollie said.
“This is what we do. We are born for this. We’re bred to cut down nets. We’re not chasing championships. Championships are chasing us.”
Napier, who was a member of the winning 2011 team, was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
“I see my guys enjoying it,” Napier said. “That’s the most special feeling ever.”
James Young led the way for the No. 8 Wildcats (29-11) with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Julius Randle added 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
“We had our chances to win,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “We’re missing shots, we’re missing free throws. We just didn’t have enough.”
He was optimistic about next season though.
“I think all these kids are coming back, so I think we should be good,” Calipari added.