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6 surprises from the NCAA tourney title game

  • Shabazz Napier was clutch for Connecticut in the national championship game.
Shabazz Napier was clutch for Connecticut in the national championship… (Getty Images )
April 07, 2014|RedEye

Sure, the NCAA tournament is all about chaos, but did anyone see this championship game coming? Perhaps someone should have, given Kentucky was ranked No. 1 and Connecticut was in the top 20 before the season began. Still, the finale of March Madness has never seen two teams with a combined higher seeding (No. 7 UConn plus No. 8 UK).

What last-minute surprises did the title game hold? We've got six, ranking them on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most shocking).

Presidents play nice

Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican George W. Bush enjoyed the game from the same suite at AT&T Stadium. That's totally legal. We checked.

How surprising: 3

Rattled much?

By the 6:27 mark in the first half, Kentucky already had five turnovers—more than it had all game against Wisconsin in Saturday's semifinal.

How surprising: 7

He got range

We knew Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier could shoot. We didn't know he'd hoist a 30-footer just because he felt like it. And hit nothing but net. Oh yeah, he also had 15 points in the first half and a game-high 22.

How surprising: 5

Drawing a blank

Both teams had droughts of longer than four minutes without a field goal in the second half. That's hard to do when the teams are this good.

How surprising: 8

Fizzled out

No fireworks during the pregame ceremonies. Or at any time Monday. We could have sworn Jerry Jones would have made that happen.

How surprising: 10

Seventh heaven

Two numbers jump out in the wake of Connecticut's title run. First, the Huskies are the first No. 7 seed to win the NCAA tournament. Second, UConn is 4-0 in national title games, all since 1999. Wow.

How surprising: 10

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