Arlington, TX (CBS) — At least someone associated with the 76ers will know what the taste of winning is like this basketball season. Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, a former Sixer, couldn’t have asked for a grander stage than the makeshift court at AT&T Stadium, close to his hometown in Dallas. And Connecticut couldn’t have played out a greater Cinderella journey.
Connecticut became the first No. 7 seed to win the NCAA National championship, and the lowest seeded team to win the title since that near-perfect magical Villanova team, seeded eighth, shocked the world and beat mighty Georgetown in 1985.
UConn, in a sense, pulled off a slight shocker by getting by No. 8 Kentucky, 60-54, Monday night.
The Huskies never trailed. The game was tied twice, 2-2 and 6-6. After the second tie, UConn went on an 11-2 run to take control of the game and stave off a number of Kentucky rushes.
With 7:23 left to play, trailing, 48-47, Kentucky had a chance to take the lead for the first time in the game, when super freshman Aaron Harrison pulled up and missed a 3-point jump shot. The Huskies answered with a three-point shot from super guard Shabazz Napier with 6:50 to play, giving UConn a 47-51 lead.
As 6:18 sat in the clock, UConn’s Niels Giffey made another trey for a 54-49 Huskies’ lead.
It marked the fourth national championship for the Huskies, who also won national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011 and faced their toughest challenge from St. Joseph’s in the second round, surviving a 89-81 overtime victory.
Napier led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Ryan Boatright’s 14. James Young led Kentucky with 20.