Shabazz Napier started his collegiate career by winning a national championship back in 2011. Now, Napier finishes his collegiate career with another championship. The 7-seeded UConn Huskies defeated the 8-seeded Kentucky 60-54 last night for the NCAA Division I Championship in Dallas, Texas. Napier led his team with 22 points and knocked down four three pointers in the win. He also added in 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. The senior from Roxbury, Massachusetts won the Final Four MVP for his performance in the upset win against Florida and in leading his team to sweet victory over the Wildcats of Kentucky. He recorded 40 points in the two wins and stole the ball seven times between the two games. He finishes his illustrious career averaging 18 points per game and knocking down 40 percent of his three-pointers. He also finished with a career high in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. He should be a sure 1st round pick in this year’s upcoming draft.
Head Coach Kevin Ollie did a terrific job coaching in his first NCAA tournament. He is a perfect 6-0 in the national tournament! His team pulled off a lot of upsets during their tournament run, especially over Florida and then Kentucky (two SEC power-houses). The UConn Huskies were very impressive in their championship game, making 10-10 free throws and causing Kentucky to turn the ball over 13 times. They also never fell behind in the game, leading the Wildcats every minute.
In other college basketball news, Doug McDermott of Creighton won the Wooden Player of the Year Award. McDermott finished his career with 3,150 total points, fifth on the all-time scoring list. He eclipsed 3,000 points in his final home game. He was the third player in history to record 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. He was the only player in Creighton history to score 750 points in a season, and he did it three years in a row. Gregg Marshall won Coach of the Year for his work at Wichita State. They were the only team to finish undefeated in the regular season. People would be guessing what could have happened if the Shockers defeated Kentucky in that round of 32. Oh well, you can’t win them all I guess. So what’s going to happen next year? Well that’s the most exciting thing about sports: we don’t know. This was a fantastic tournament with a lot of upsets and surprises along the way. It just goes to show that you can never predict anything that happens in these types of games. One thing is for sure though: it was a good season of college basketball and I can’t wait for next year.