As quickly as the madness began it will come to an end. The championship game will be played Monday night between 7-seeded Connecticut and 8-seeded Kentucky.
This matchup has now become the lowest seeded matchup in a championship game, but don’t let this fool you into thinking this won’t be a good game. Both these teams have proven that the gap between the top seeds and middle-of-the-road seeds has diminished and anyone is capable of making it deep into the tournament.
Along with Kentucky and UConn, Dayton, Tennessee and Stanford brought down top seeds this year making 2014 one of the most upset happy years the tournament has seen. As a fan, it was a perfect year; we always root for the upset and we got it.
This year has proven that we can expect the same for future years, a March Madness dream in my opinion.
This game will be the end of exciting stories for both teams. Kentucky started the season ranked as the top team in the country and has a chance to end the season at the top of the polls while also tying Villanova’s record as the lowest seed to win a national championship game.
Kentucky’s youth has made them the youngest team in the NCAA with some of the top NBA prospects. Julius Randle will be a top five pick next year, James Young and Willie Cauley-Stein will go early and Aaron Harrison has moved up in many scout’s minds because of his clutch play down the stretch.
Unfortunately for us, we won’t see Cauley-Stein in the championship game due to injury and Alex Poythress, another key player, may be sore after possibly injuring himself during the celebration after Kentucky’s Final Four game. It will be interesting to see if coach John Calipari can win without a few key players.
UConn, on the other hand, uses experience to win. They have five seniors, most notably Shabazz Napier, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and already national champion from 2011.
And if UConn can capitalize, their experience will win the first title for UConn since Jim Calhoun left the team. UConn’s victories over top seeds have been nothing short of impressive; after escaping past St. Joe’s they have defeated numerous top seeds including beating top-seeded favorite Florida decisively.
Watch out for UConn to have an equally decisive win over Kentucky, but also watch out for Kentucky to make it a fight and possibly to see another clutch shot from Aaron Harrison. Although this National Championship features low seeds, both teams deserve to be there and it will be well fought—something we should all look forward to.