The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four is set. Two teams were able to carve out upsets yesterday in order to book their seats. University of Connecticut (7) defeated MSU (4) 60-54 and University of Kentucky (8) downed Michigan (2) in an exciting 75-72 nail-biter via a last ditch three-point shot. UConn and Kentucky will be joining number one and two seeds Florida and Wisconsin.
Connecticut rode heavily on the efforts of Shabazz Napier who came away with a very impressive performance. He scored a game-high 25 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Napier was also perfect from the line, making all of his nine attempts from the stripe. He also sank four shots from deep. Shabazz took control of the game and led his team to victory. On the defensive end, DeAndre Daniels came up big with 12 points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks.
Michigan State was out of sync for most of the game, which allowed Connecticut to bust the game wide open in the second half. Gary Harris was the lone bright spot for MSU thanks to 22-point effort for the night.
The Kentucky-Michigan game was a completely different affair. Both teams were tied at the end of the first half of the game and the second half saw each squad fight tooth and nail to keep the game close. It all boiled down to Aaron Harrison making a big play with 2.3 seconds left in regulation, as he knocked down the game winning three-point shot to send his team to the Final Four. Harrison’s 12 points for the night all came from beyond the arc (4-6). The Wildcats were led by forward Julius Randle who finished with a double-double performance with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Wolverines’ Nik Stauskas put up the biggest individual effort for the game with 24 points and three assists. He was aggressive throughout the game and made the most of his trips to the foul line, making 10 of his 11 attempts. Glenn Robinson III added 14 points, while Jordan Morgan chipped in 11.
All in all everyone is in for an exciting conclusion to this 2014 tournament. We have our two heavy favorites in Florida and Wisconsin, sitting pretty with their impressive records as the number one and two seeds and now we have the dark horses in UConn and Kentucky who are hoping to go on their streaks of upsets moving forward.