Last night I watched one of the most exciting NCAA Championship games I have ever seen. In case you were on another planet and didn't watch it, it featured the talented freshmen of Kentucky, coached by John Calipari, against the undersized Huskies of the University of Connecticut, coached by Kevin Ollie.
UCONN reminded me a little of UCLA coach John Wooden's first championship team. Their tallest starter was six feet, five inches tall. The team was led by guards Gayle Goodrich and Walt Hazard. Connecticut's dynamic duo is named Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier. They scored 36 points between them, and were the reason the Huskies won the game. Napier was named the final four's Most Outstanding Player.
At halftime the 'experts' praised Coach Calipari for instituting a zone defense, which they claimed was the factor why the Wildcats were just two points down at the break. The reality was that Boatright, and their third best player, Daniels, were on the bench until halftime. Both had two personal fouls, and Coach Ollie was obviously insuring their participation in the second half.
Ollie outcoached every other coach throughout the tournament. In only his second year at the helm, he has won his first championship. UCONN was banned from post season play last year.
The Huskies used quickness, speed, and good old fashioned hustle to dominate the game. As Napier said at the end of the game, they worked hard for two years to win the championship. Boatright and Napier are the best guard combination I have seen since the days of John Wooden.
I am aware that announcers and analysts in all sports are there for entertainment. If they knew as much about the games they played as they claim to, they would be coaching, and not on television.
But, I do frequently question if they are watching the same game I am watching. It especially offends me during the 'final four.' March Madness is truly the greatest of all sports championships, and I would prefer to listen to someone who had accurate insight and information.
Another great year.