Inside the Numbers of the 2014 NCAA Basketball Championship

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Inside the Numbers of the 2014 NCAA Basketball Championship
USA Today

The 2014 NCAA tournament has been one for the ages, and we're all expecting another instant classic when Connecticut and Kentucky meet for the national championship on Monday night.

We'll have full breakdowns with analysis, predictions and all that jazz in the remaining hours until we crown a champion.

Before getting into that, though, let's have some fun with numbers.

Some of these numbers are historical; others are (obviously) fictional. Some are tempo-free and require a subscription to KenPom.com, but most require no knowledge of "advanced metrics" whatsoever.

Let's not delay any further. Here are the numbers to keep in mind when the Wildcats and Huskies battle for all the marbles.

 

77.4: Connecticut's free-throw percentage on the season, good for fourth-best in the nation.

42.3: Percentage of offensive rebounds that Kentucky grabs. The Wildcats are tied with Quinnipiac for the highest percentage in that category.

247: Where Connecticut ranks nationally in defensive rebounding percentage.

21: Lowest rank in adjusted defensive efficiency by a national champion in the past 11 seasons. For the uninitiated, adjusted defensive efficiency is Ken Pomeroy's estimate of how many points per 100 possessions that a team would allow to the average D-I offense.

44: Kentucky's adjusted defensive efficiency rank. Connecticut ranks No. 10.

900: Minimum APR score Connecticut failed to reach from 2007-11, causing the Huskies to miss the 2013 NCAA tournament.

57: Number of points Kentucky scored in losing to Robert Morris in the first round of the 2013 NIT. A lot has changed in 12 months, no?

48.3: Niels Giffey's three-point shooting percentage during the regular season.

9.1: Niels Giffey's three-point shooting percentage over his last four games.

Pool/Getty Images

12: Consecutive successful two-point field-goal attempts by Alex Poythress. And yes, all 12 of them were dunks, layups or tip-ins.

17: Approximate number of seconds Kentucky fans were able to celebrate the win over Wisconsin before becoming worried about the knee Poythress injured at the bottom of the celebration pile. But no, court storming isn't dangerous or anything.

1985: The last time a team seeded lower than a No. 6 won the national championship.

15: Combined seed numbers of No. 7 Connecticut and No. 8 Kentucky.

24:30: Amount of game time since Kentucky last committed a turnover.

17-1: Connecticut's record when Ryan Boatright averages better than 1.30 points per field-goal attempt.

1.42: Points per field-goal attempt that Boatright has averaged in the tournament.

32: Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit of the blood in Aaron Harrison's veins. After his third consecutive game hitting a clutch three-pointer in the final 40 seconds, Harrison told reporters, "You can't be scared to miss, and you want to be that guy that wants to take the big shots."

49,802: Times Shabazz Napier has been compared to Kemba Walker over the past three weeks.

Pool/Getty Images

62: Number of minutes that Marcus Lee played between Dec. 1 and Mar. 29.

15.2: Percentage of opponents' two-point field-goal attempts blocked when Amida Brimah is in the game. Brimah has blocked 91 shots this season.

24: Double-doubles that Julius Randle has recorded this season.

 

That's enough bouncing around the number spectrum. Time to count down to the national championship!

10: Total number of minutes that senior walk-on Jarrod Polson has played thus far in the tournament. I've got a gut feeling he scores a bucket or two late in the first half that ignites a rally for Big Blue Nation.

9: Consecutive games in which DeAndre Daniels has scored at least 11 points.

8: National championships won by Kentucky. Only UCLA (11) has won more.

7: Combined number of national championships that will have been won by either Connecticut or Kentucky in the last 19 NCAA tournaments. Each has won three since 1996, and Monday will make four for one of them.

6: Field-goal attempts by Shabazz Napier in Connecticut's 10-point win over the supposed best team in the country on Saturday.

Eric Gay

5: Number of freshmen now in Kentucky's starting rotation without Willie Cauley-Stein.

4: Consecutive games in which Kentucky did not have the lead at some point in the final two minutes.

3: Final Fours in the past four years for John Calipari's Succeed and Proceed strategy, once thought impossible to create a national champion.

2: Number of seasons that Kevin Ollie has been a head coach.

1: Times that Kentucky has beaten Connecticut in four triesall in the past decade.

0: People who can honestly say they saw this national championship pairing coming on Selection Sunday.

 

Kerry Miller covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @kerrancejames.

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