History will be made on Monday night in North Texas when Connecticut and Kentucky meet in the first-ever No. 7 vs. No. 8 seed national championship matchup.
As ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter points out, prior to 2014, a No. 7 seed had never reached the national championship game, let alone cut down the nets:
UConn is the first 7 seed ever to reach the National Championship game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 6, 2014
Meanwhile, Kentucky will look to become the first No. 8 seed to win it all since Villanova upset top-seeded Georgetown back in 1985.
With the stage set for an unlikely championship matchup, here's everything you need to know to make sure you don't miss a single minute of the action.
All Your Bracket Essentials:
- Download the Printable Bracket
- Follow the Latest Bracket Updates Live
- Play the Free Bracket Challenge
When: Monday, April 7 at 9:10 p.m. ET
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Live Stream: March Madness Live
Spread*: Kentucky (-2.5)
*According to Covers.com.
What to Watch For
DeAndre Daniels Will Be the X-Factor
Huskies junior forward DeAndre Daniels has been the X-factor for Connecticut all tournament long and will be a huge key to its success on Monday night.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Huskies are 8-0 this season when Daniels scores at least 18 points:
UConn is now 8-0 when DeAndre Daniels scores at least 18 points this season. Daniels had 20 points vs Florida.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 6, 2014
The 6'9" Los Angeles native has scored 18 or more points in three of Connecticut's five NCAA tournament wins and has been a huge factor on the boards of late, combining to pull down 28 rebounds in the Huskies' previous three tournament games.
Following his double-double performance against Florida, Daniels talked about his team's motivation to succeed this spring.
"We feel like we have been doubted the whole season, heading into the tournament when people didn't have us winning the first game," Daniels said, per The Hartford Courant's Dom Amore. "But that's what drives us ... We like to go out and try to prove people wrong and let them know that UConn's back on top."
Daniels will get his wish on Monday night as the Huskies will take to the floor inside AT&T Stadium as underdogs against John Calipari's preseason No. 1 Wildcats.
If Daniels can continue to stretch the floor and complement Connecticut's talented backcourt duo of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, the Huskies will have a phenomenal chance to secure their second national title in four years.
Will Aaron Harrison Be Clutch Again?
Kentucky freshman Aaron Harrison has been outright lethal in crunch time in the Big Dance, going 3-of-3 on game-tying and go-ahead three-pointers in the final minute in this tournament, per ESPN Stats & Info.
SportsCenter on Twitter highlights the degree of difficulty on Harrison's clutch shots:
His three in the Sweet 16 against in-state rival Louisville put Kentucky up two with 40 seconds to play, his last-second three against Michigan in the Elite Eight sent Kentucky to the Final Four with a three-point win and his long-range dagger against Wisconsin on Saturday gave the Wildcats a one-point lead with six seconds to play.
It would appear that each clutch shot Harrison hits is even more unlikely than the last.
Surprisingly, Harrison's scoring has dropped off each game since he poured in 19 points in the round of 32 against Wichita State. However, Calipari and the Wildcats won't mind him finishing with just eight points again on Monday night if it means he's at his best late with the outcome in the balance.
If the recent trend continues, Kentucky will find itself in another nail-biter on Monday night. The only question is whether Harrison will have another opportunity to be the hero.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.