NCAA Tournament Final: Kentucky vs. UConn Score, Odds

Frank Doyle | Updated Apr 07, 2014

Julius Randle Kentucky Wildcats

The NCAA Tournament wasn’t supposed to end like this – with two clubs that didn’t even make the Tournament last year fighting it out in the finals – but that’s the beauty of this matchup between the Kentucky Wildcats and UConn Huskies.

Kentucky Wildcats

In one corner, you have the upstart Wildcats, who opened the season as the No. 1 team in the polls but hit its share of potholes with five freshmen in the starting roster. It’s a group that’s already drawing comparisons to the Michigan Wolverines in the early-‘90s and rightfully so.

Despite the lack of experience on the roster, this squad makes up for that with more talent than it knows what to do with at every position on the floor. Julius Randle, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, James Young and Dakari Johnson have a chance to win the title tonight and Sports Interaction has the Wildcats set as 2-point favorites over UConn.

Connecticut Huskies

Not many people gave UConn much of a shot to run deep into the Tournament after the Huskies finished tied for third in the American Athletic Conference. However, with a player like All-American Shabazz Napier and a strong defence, you always have a chance. Napier averages 19, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.4 steals in five tournament games and knows what to expect after helping UConn win a title three years ago in his freshman year.

Napier and Ryan Boatright are absolutely giving opposing guards fits in this tournament. They were a big part in holding Florida’s much-heralded offence to just 53 points in the Final Four. Connecticut opened as an underdog in each of its last four games, but has now won and covered the number in seven of its last eight.

Frank’s Take

As much as I believe in Boatright and Napier in the backcourt, I can’t get past Kentucky’s overall talent advantage. The Wildcats aren’t going to run over the Huskies because UConn’s defence will keep it close. Normally in these situations I’d side with experience over talent. This Wildcats team is on a completely different level and they’ve been through enough tough spots in this tournament already to stick together when the Huskies get on roll.

Score: Kentucky 67, UConn 61

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