Big East team UConn will take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the Final Four this weekend and the winner will be the heavy favorite to win the NCAA championship. Both teams were relatively high seeds, but neither was expected by most to come out of their region to reach the Final Four.
Kentucky fought its way through perhaps the toughest region, taking out No. 1 overall seed Ohio State and No. 2 seed North Carolina. Even more impressively, they’ve done it on the back of a freshman in Brandon Knight. Kentucky fans may feel a little nervous pinning their hopes to a first-year player, but the fact is that the Wildcats have already defeated two very good teams and are plenty capable of winning their final two games.
But to do that, they’ll need to start by going through the Connecticut Huskies. UConn wasn’t expected to do much this season, picked by coaches in the preseason to finish in the middle of the pack of the Big East conference. Then a funny thing happened – Kemba Walker turned into one of the nation’s best players, UConn went on to win five Big East tournament games in five days, and Jim Calhoun now has the Huskies on the brink of a third national championship.
But even though each team is incredibly close to a title, they should be wary of Virginia Commonwealth and particularly, Butler, on the other side of the bracket. Between them, those teams have beaten No. 1 seeds Pitt and Kansas – so they’re clearly able to knock off Kentucky or UConn in a one-game scenario.
So what can we expect in this game? Well, with each round, more pressure builds up and that kind of burden can wear on freshmen. But while the Huskies have the best player in this game in Walker, they’ve had a significantly easier path in this game than Kentucky. Still, these two teams already faced off earlier in the season and UConn laid a 17-point beatdown on the Wildcats then. I expect a close UConn win this time around.