College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, April 7, 2014
Shabazz Napier scored a game-high 22 points and was named tournament Most Outstanding Player, leading the Connecticut Huskies to the Men's Basketball Championship with a 60-54 victory over the youthful Kentucky Wildcats.
Kentucky, down as many as 15 points in the first half, closed the gap to within one, but never led in the game.
Napier was 8-for-16 overall, hitting four of six from three-point land and 2-for-2 from the stripe. He added three rebounds and three steals, dominating the Kentucky backcourt of freshmen guards, Aaron and Andrew Harrison who were a combined 6-for-16 and committed seven turnovers.
The real star of the game, however, was the rim, whenever Kentucky was shooting free throws, because that was the decisive statistic of the game. While the Huskies were 10-for-10 at the foul line, the Wildcats were a woeful 13-for-24, a miserable 54%, many of their misses coming in key situations.
Thus, the national championship belongs to Connecticut for the second time in four years. Napier and fellow senior, Niels Giffey, were a part of both championship teams.
The tournament is over and so its this blog, ending seven years of collage hoops coverage. It's on to other pursuits for me. I'll be the guy in the bleachers with a cold beer and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap.
-- Fearless Rick