UConn vs. Kentucky: Latest Odds for Epic National Title Clash

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVApril 7, 2014

Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) celebrates after making a three-point basket in the final seconds against Wisconsin to win the game 74-73 during their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall

A No. 7 seed and a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament championship game—just like we all had in our brackets.

Seeing the seeds next to the names Connecticut and Kentucky make this year's final an improbable one, but with 11 national championships between the two, it's far from a surprising matchup in historical contexts.

However, there's no doubt that each team beat the odds in order to get to Dallas in the first place.

After the Huskies toppled top overall seed Florida and John Calipari's freshman-laden Wildcats slipped past Wisconsin in thrilling fashion Saturday night, it's obvious that both of these teams proved worthy of squaring off for all the roses Monday.

Let's preview the latest odds and betting information as we break down the upcoming clash.


When: Monday, April 7, at 9:10 p.m. ET

Where: AT&T Stadium, Dallas

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: March Madness Live

Odds: Kentucky (-2), courtesy of VegasInsider.com as of April 6


Betting Preview

Eric Gay

Let's face it—this may be a seventh seed versus an eighth seed for the title, but they haven't been treated as such by the oddsmakers this tournament.

Kentucky has been given special treatment. The Wildcats slipped into the tournament as an eighth seed but were regarded as one of the giants of the Midwest region. 

Charlie Neibergall

They were obviously underdogs against then-undefeated Wichita State and against Louisville, but those were close lines. When Kentucky faced Michigan in the Elite Eight, the Wildcats were favored. That trend continued into the Final Four, where the line swayed back and forth between the Wildcats and Badgers.

The Huskies have had to beat the odds a number of times, most recently with their upset of top-ranked Florida. But UConn wasn't able to gain any favor during its Final Four run like Kentucky did, having to notch huge upsets over second-seeded Villanova and fourth-seeded Michigan State before getting to Dallas.

The pre-tournament title odds for both UConn and Kentucky, as noted by ESPN's R.J. Bell, show how improbable this matchup is: 

As for the line, it opened up in favor of Kentucky by a slim margin early on but should see some more movement back and forth.

The Wildcats' come-from-behind, thrilling victory over Wisconsin and their championship pedigree will permeate in folks' minds, but then again, so will Shabazz Napier and UConn's "it" factor that allowed the Huskies to topple Michigan State and Florida, among others. 

One thing is certain with the Gators' and Badgers' losses in the Final Four—the favorite won't be decided by seeding. With two noticeably mediocre seeds making it all the way to the title game, it's safe to say pre-tourney expectations and predictions can be thrown out the window completely. 

Both teams have a clutch gene—Aaron Harrison from Kentucky and Napier of UConn—and both teams have star players down low in Julius Randle and DeAndre Daniels. This game will come down to just a few possessions, and with more weapons to unleash from so many different angles, Kentucky will be the toughest one to beat.

Now all it comes down to is if the Wildcats can make this fan feel a bit smarter about his suddenly genius tattoo