Kentucky had no shortage of highlight-reel plays in the national championship game, but every time the Wildcats made something good happen, UConn had the answer. Behind Shabazz Napier (who else?) and his 22 points, the Huskies never trailed as they became the first No. 7 seed ever to capture the national title, earning a 60-54 win.
Napier also led yet another improbable rebounding effort by UConn, which took it to the bigger, stronger Wildcats on the glass and came away with a 34-33 advantage. Tournament hero DeAndre Daniels contributed six of those boards, while Ryan Boatright added 14 points and three steals.
For Kentucky, James Young played his second sensational game in a row, leading the team with 20 points and leading everyone with seven rebounds. Uber-freshman Julius Randle (slowed by a balky ankle) was the only other ‘Cat in double figures with 10 points, while also adding six boards, four assists and some uncharacteristically strong defense.
For the Huskies, it’s their fourth national title—all since 1999—and the first for head coach and former point guard Kevin Ollie. He becomes the first coach since Steve Fisher in 1989 to win a championship in his first NCAA tournament appearance.