Quantcast

John Calipari explains why Kentucky didn’t foul at end of game

John CalipariThe last minute of competitive basketball games generally takes a long time to play out because the losing team tends to foul to try keeping the game close. That did not happen in the NCAA Tournament title game on Monday night between UConn and Kentucky, and John Calipari explained why after the game.

The Kentucky coach told CBS’ Tracy Wolfson that Kentucky didn’t foul because UConn was too great at their free throws.

“I needed to do a couple more things to help [my team], to get them over the hump, and we just didn’t have enough,” Calipari said.

He then went on to explain why they didn’t foul.

“We couldn’t foul late. I know everyone’s [asking] ‘why didn’t you foul?’ Because they’re not missing! Those two guards never miss! Our best chance was two-possession game, stop them, make a basket, timeout, try to steal — that was our best chance.”

Calipari also added that he thought at halftime that they would win the game. They came close, but fell short.

Calipari’s reasoning actually makes sense. UConn went 10-of-10 at the free throw line in the title game and set a tournament record for highest free throw percentage. Hoping for them to miss at the line was a longshot. The real problem was the same one Calipari has experienced before; his team couldn’t make free throws.

Shabazz Napier has message for NCAA after winning title

Shabazz Napier UConn

Shabazz Napier had a message for the NCAA after leading UConn to the National Championship with a 60-54 win over Kentucky on Monday.

The senior guard, who won the title as a freshman and book-ended his career with another title as a senior, let loose in his postgame interview with CBS’ Jim Nantz.

“Honestly, I want to get everyone’s attention right quick,” Napier began, signifying he had something important to say. “Ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the Hungry Huskies. This is what happens when you ban us. Two years. We worked so hard for it. Two years and hungry. Hungry Huskies.”

Napier was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, so he definitely had some leeway to say what he wanted.

UConn was banned from the postseason last year for not meeting the NCAA’s academic requirements. It’s not like they were ratted out for breaking recruiting rules or something — they couldn’t make grades. But, hey, if that’s what motivated the team, then let’s not stand in Shabazz’s way.

UConn wins NCAA title, sets tournament record for free throws

Kevin Ollie UConn

UConn was stellar from the free throw line in their National Championship Game win over Kentucky on Monday night, which followed a record-setting pattern established by the Huskies during their March Madness run.

UConn beat Kentucky 60-54 and went 10-of-10 on free throws in the game. Kentucky, on the other hand, was 13-of-24. The difference between the two teams’ success at the line could be the exact reason why UConn won while Kentucky lost.

But this is exactly what UConn has done all tournament.

The Huskies went 21-for-22 at the line in the regional final against Michigan State to earn a berth to the Final Four. They were 10-of-13 at the line in the Final Four against Florida to earn a trip to the championship game.

According to CBS Sports’ Tony Moss, UConn went 101-115 (87.8%) from the line during the tournament, which broke the record of 87.0% (47-54) by St. John’s in 1969.

Derek the UConn RA is officially America’s least favorite RA

Derek-the-RA-letter
(click to enlarge)

A lot of stuff is going to get broken when the final whistle sounds in the NCAA men’s national championship game on Monday night. Both UConn and Kentucky are massive universities that love their basketball, and we know what rowdy college kids do when their team wins or loses a huge game. One resident assistant from UConn is not going to have any of that nonsense in his house.

In anticipation of the big game, a UConn RA named Derek sent the letter you see above to the students who live on his floor telling them he is not going to tolerate any type of excessive celebrating. He also basically called everyone bandwagon fans and said the only reason they care about the game is because the uniforms say UConn or they want an excuse to party.

“If it’s the first one, you’re cheering for laundry,” Derek wrote. “If it’s the second one, be as far away from me as possible tonight.”

In other words, no one can possibly actually care about their school’s basketball team because they like basketball and want to see their team win. Derek just doesn’t see that as a realistic scenario.

As you might expect, the Twitter world has already labeled Derek the worst RA in America. When I went to UConn the North Campus dorms were dry, and none of our RA’s were that douchey with their emails. There are countless other ways he could have gone about it. Derek later sent another email to students clarifying the original letter, which Barstool Sports passed along.

[Read more...]

Aaron Harrison makes another game-winning 3-pointer (Video)

Aaron Harrison has earned legend status through his play at the NCAA Tournament. The Kentucky freshman made yet another deciding shot for the Wildcats during their tourney run when he hit a game-winning 3-pointer to beat Wisconsin 74-73 on Saturday night in the Final Four. Harrison also drained the game-winning 3-pointer against Michigan to send Kentucky to the Final Four.

And how’s this stat for you? Kentucky made two 3-pointers all night — their first and their last.

Goodness gracious. And can you believe how far away Harrison was on that shot:

Aaron Harrison 3-pointer

Harrison also had a huge 3-pointer to put Kentucky up 70-68 on Louisville and give them the lead for good in that game. What a baller.

Terrence Samuel got to slap Kevin Ollie back (Video)

Terrence-Samuel-slaps-Kevin-OllieUConn head coach Kevin Ollie delivered a hilarious slap to the face of freshman guard Terrence Samuel after the Huskies defeated Iowa State to advance to the Elite 8 on Friday. Samuel and some other players had been goofing around behind Ollie during his interview, so he reacted accordingly. The slap went viral almost immediately.

On Sunday, UConn knocked off Michigan State to punch its ticket to the Final Four. Ollie gave Samuel a chance to get him back.

“Terrence has gotta slap me to make sure I’m not dreaming,” Ollie joked during his interview.

Samuel then gave Ollie a love tap on the hat. If you ask me, he let his coach off easy. I would have taken that opportunity to smack him right across the face. With his team on its way to the Final Four, Ollie probably would have enjoyed every second of it.

H/T The Big Lead

Keith Appling foul on Shabazz Napier costs Michigan State (GIF)

Michigan State guard Keith Appling can’t be happy with the way his collegiate career ended. The senior committed a costly foul in the Elite 8 on Sunday that helped send UConn to the Final Four.

With 30 seconds remaining in the game and the Huskies leading 53-51, Appling hit Napier on the arm while the UConn star was shooting a 3-pointer. Napier went on to hit all three of his free throws and give his team a five-point lead, ultimately icing the game.

Keith-Appling-Shabazz-Napier-foul

Given the way UConn has shot free throws throughout the NCAA Tournament, the last thing the Spartans wanted to do down the stretch was put them at the line. The Huskies hit an astonishing 21 of 22 free throws (95.5%) against Michigan State. They hit 41 of 44 free throws total at Madison Square Garden in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. They have shot 88% as a team in the tournament.

Wow.

As Derrick Rose and his 2008 Memphis Tigers could tell you, poor free throw shooting can sink a team in March. Phenomenal work from the line has catapulted UConn into the Final Four.

GIF via Diehard Sport