2014 Final Four: If the teams that we thought were going to make it to the national championship did than the Madness would not be very mad–but it is.
Saturday was a great day to be a college basketball fan with a double header that had the potential to be one for the ages. First up–the No. 1 seed of the Tournament and the No. 1 team in the nation took on the Connecticut Huskies. Immediately following the resurgent Kentucky Wildcats had a tough opponent in the Wisconsin Badgers.
Many hoped there would be an all SEC national championship game with Florida and Kentucky facing off for the fourth time this season. As it turns out what we may have is a No. 8 seed favored in the big game.
Florida vs UConn:
At first it looked as if this game was going to go as most figured it would. The Huskies could not buy a shot for the majority of the first half. With nine minutes to play and only four points on the scoreboard it certainly didn’t look good for UConn, but then the Huskies got hot and the Wildcats turned ice-cold.
By time the half was over UConn had a 25-22 lead–and they never trailed again. Florida’s shooting woes continued in the second half while the Huskies remained red hot. When all was said and done the lone remaining No. 1 seed lost to a No. 7 seed by ten, 63-53.
Kentucky vs. Wisconsin:
The Badgers probably would have preferred to play either UConn or Florida. It took the Wildcats the regular season on into the Tournament to get their act together, and with the shocking win over Wichita State it was clear that they had. That being said Wisconsin was no slouch either. If they play their ‘A’ game they could take down the upstart Wildcats.
For a time it appeared as if they were going to. The Badgers were in control of the game throughout the first half, but a 13-3 run to start the second half put the Wildcats on top 49-43 with 16 minutes still to play.
The lead would be traded back and forth a few times down the stretch. After Traevon Jackson made a pair of free throws to put Wisconsin ahead 73-71 with 16 seconds left it looked like the Badgers were finally in control, but as Louisville fans can attest to Aaron Harrison does not need much time to hit a clutch three.
This one came with seven seconds left and gave Kentucky a 74-73 lead and the win.
It’s Madness I tell ya!
Back when the season started the Kentucky Wildcats were expected to make it the big game. Even with a new crop of untested freshmen coming in there is just something about the guys that John Calipari recruits. Things didn’t go according to plan and by time the regular season ended the Wildcats dropped out of the top 25.
Last season the Connecticut Huskies were banned from post season play due to poor academic performance. Something like that can make recruiting a little more challenging than it already is, but add longtime head coach Jim Calhoun retiring prior to last season and the Huskies were definitely behind the 8-ball coming in to this season.
Now here they are playing for the national championship.
It’s Madness. Madness I say!