‘Hungry Huskies’: UConn Takes 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Title [Video]

Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright worked it together to get their ‘Huskies’ to defeat Kentucky with 60-54 victory in the school’s fourth NCAA men’s basketball national championship.

The University of Connecticut, who was banned from NCAA tournament just one year ago due to academic sanctions, won its fourth and most improbable national title on Monday, beating Kentucky 60-54 at AT&T Stadium.

Senior Shabazz Napier, the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, did nearly everything for his Huskies, scoring a game-high 22 points, directing the offense and controlling the tempo in Connecticut’s historic victory before a NCAA championship-record crowd of 79,238 that included past presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton looking on as giddy seatmates from a luxury box.

Junior guard Boatright, who shares Napier’s lack of height and abundance of quickness, played a stellar supporting role with 14 points, three assists and three rebounds of his own. Together, they helped Huskies coach Kevin Ollie earn his first championship in in his first NCAA tournament since Steve Fisher in 1989, writes Mashable.

The UConn managed to get its fourth and least probable national title in the last 15 years. The Huskies became the lowest seed, at No. 7, to win the national championship since Villanova in 1985. The loss deprived Kentucky coach John Calipari of his second championship in three years. Kentucky remains stuck on eight men’s basketball championships, the second-most in the NCAA’s Division I behind UCLA.

“Honestly, I want to get everybody’s attention right quick. You’re looking at the hungry Huskies. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you banned us,” a jubilant Napier said into a TV camera referring to a one-year ban from the postseason as confetti rained around him.

The UConn coach became the 13th coach to win a title at his alma mater and the fourth African-American coach to lead a team to an NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship, joining Georgetown’s John Thompson, Arkansas’ Nolan Richardson and Kentucky’s Tubby Smith. “We always did it together and always played as a group,” Ollie said.

Fans were celebrating the victory like never before. Campus police claimed that they uprooted a light post in front of the engineering building on the UConn campus and smashed it through a window. Struck by the victory supporters also overturned chairs and tables in the student union, they said. Officers made 30 arrests, said college spokesman Tom Breen.

Earlier Monday, a tweet purporting to show a notice posted by a stodgy UConn dormitory residential advisor went quasi-viral in online sports circles. The RA, named Derek, told eager young students to “please go … somewhere else to watch the game” because “midnight quiet hours still apply here, so please responsibly go nuts elsewhere.”

Kentucky was the preseason No. 1 team, a huge disappointment through much of this season, then came on just in time for a run to the final. Kentucky was led by James Young’s 20 points; Randle (10) was the only other player in double figures, says the Washington Post.

“We had our chances to win … and we hung in there. These kids never gave up,” Kentucky Coach John Calipari said. “We just didn’t have enough.”

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