On April 7, 2014, the University of Kentucky Wildcats (eighth seeded) battled the University of Connecticut Huskies (seventh seeded) in a most unpredictable final match-up of the NCAA Tournament. This was the first championship game in which no first, second or third seeded team had reached the final game for the championship.
The freshman Kentucky Wildcats appeared rattled at the game’s start and fell 15 points behind late in the first half. Once settled down, they closed that gap to within four points on a 16-5 run, bringing the score to 35-31 before the break at the half.
UK started the second half strong with James Young’s crowd-roaring dunk shot. The Cats chased UConn’s score to within one point on several occasions, but the Wildcats were never able to gain the lead. Shabazz Napier’s 22 points and 6 rebounds led UConn’s more seasoned team. The Huskies couldn’t miss at the free throw line, hitting all 10 of their free-throw attempts in contrast to Kentucky’s 13 of 24 attempts. In the end, after having been banned in last year’s NCAA Tournament due to academics, the UConn Huskies were the top dogs this year, taking it all with a 60-54 win over the Kentucky Wildcats.
Relive the tip-to-buzzer excitement as the 2011 NCAA UConn Men’s Basketball National Championship game is displayed in its entirety.