Dancing Kings: Husky Fundamentals Trump Wildcat Talent
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The University of Connecticut Huskies proved that oldies are not only goodies, but that they can deliver the goods.
In the process, UConn claimed its fourth NCAA basketball championship, doing in Kentucky's latest one-&-done crowd, 60-54, on the raised stage at JerryWorld.
They did it by deploying their quickness into a stifling, extended defense featuring the guard tandem of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, who neutralized the Harrison twins and virtually eliminated the Wildcats' outside game. They did it by tending to details, like blocking out their bigger and stronger foes, winning the rebound battle, 34-33, and allowed Kentucky only seven second-chance points in the process.
And they did it by surprising the 'Cats with something rarely seen these days: a mid-range jump shot.
Kentucky's defensive dominance inside stonewalled UConn runs to the rim for the most part but had no answer for the pull-up jumpers that the Husky guards buried with regularity. These stop-and-pops were reminiscent of days gone by, and the Wildcats never did adjust to them. Every time they yielded space or a seam in anticpation of stopping a drive, UConn marksmen took advantage of the openings and made them pay.
And as the mechanics of jumpers are similar to that of free throws, the Huskies showed their fundamental superiority at the stripe with a perfect 10-10 performance compared to the Wildcats' slash, dash, and crashers' 13-24. Telling.
With that, the triumphant Huskies were off to Storrs, while it remains to be seen how done the Kentucky ones really are.
Not to mention how done 'Cat coach John Calipari might be, as he's now left to smooth over the mess allegedly made by the loose lips of his sychophants regarding their backroom liaisons with the Los Angeles Lakers' plausible deniers. After all, where there's smoke, there's fire.
And it appears that more than just couches have been burning in Lexington.