Stats & Info: UConn

UConn, UK meet in unlikely title game

April, 6, 2014
Apr 6
For the first time ever, a 7-seed and 8-seed will meet in the national championship. It’s the highest combined seed total in a title game.

The Connecticut Huskies are the first 7-seed ever to reach the national championship.

The Kentucky Wildcats are the third 8-seed since the tournament expanded in 1985 to reach the title game (2011 Butler, 1985 Villanova).

Villanova is the only 7-seed or lower to win the national championship.

UConn defeated the Florida Gators to reach its fourth national championship, all since 1999.

UConn was led by DeAndre Daniels, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds. He’s the first player with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in a national semifinal win since Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony in 2003.

The loss was Florida’s second against UConn this season. The Gators are 0-2 against UConn and 36-1 against everyone else.

UConn is now 7-1 in Final Four games, the best win percentage for any team with at least three games in the Final Four.

Only one of UConn’s 14 made field goals in the second half came outside the paint.

Florida was outscored 9-0 in transition in the second half. The Gators didn’t have a single transition opportunity in the second half.

Florida had just three assists, the fewest by any team in a Final Four game since assists became official in 1983-84.

Scottie Wilbekin struggled when he was guarded by UConn’s starting backcourt. He was 0-for-5 on field goals when guarded by Ryan Boatright and turned it over on three of four plays when guarded by Shabazz Napier.

The Huskies were at their best with Terrence Samuel on the court. In 18 minutes with Samuel on the court, they outscored Florida by 15 points and had 11 more points than they had in 22 minutes with Samuel on the bench.

Kevin Ollie is the first coach to reach the national championship within his first two seasons as a Division I head coach since Indiana’s Mike Davis in 2002.

Kentucky defeated Wisconsin to reach its 12th national championship, tied with UCLA for the most all time (not including UCLA’s vacated appearance in 1980).

Kentucky freshman Aaron Harrison made a game-winning 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left, his third game-winning shot in the final minute in this NCAA tournament.

Aaron Harrison is 3-for-3 on game-tying and go-ahead 3-pointers in the final minute in the NCAA tournament after having zero such attempts in the regular season.

The Wildcats had 66 points from their freshmen, the most by a team’s freshmen in a Final Four game (Michigan had 61 in 1992).

John Calipari is now 18-2 in the NCAA tournament as Kentucky head coach.

UConn could struggle down low vs MSU

November, 9, 2012
When the Michigan State Spartans and Connecticut Huskies open up the season today, the Huskies will have their hands full.

Michigan State has an imposing duo down low of Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix along with small forward Branden Dawson. Does UConn have the manpower to compete with the Spartans around the basket?

Payne, Nix and Dawson all ranked in the top eight of the Big Ten last season in offensive rebound percentage. Dawson, who grabbed 13.3 percent of available offensive rebounds, led the conference.

The Spartans led the Big Ten in offensive rebound percentage and points in the paint per game last season.

UConn ranked 284th in the country in defensive rebound percentage last season. The Huskies lost their top two (Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi) and four of their top five defensive rebounders by percentage.

On the other end of the court, Payne led the Big Ten in block percentage -- he blocked 6.9 percent of opponents' field-goal attempts while he was on the court -- and Dawson ranked eighth.

UConn doesn’t have much down low. Their four returning frontcourt players -- Enosch Wolf, DeAndre Daniels, Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander -- combined for eight post-up points last season. And all four of those players drew fewer than three fouls per game, so getting the MSU big men into foul trouble may be a difficult task.

If the Huskies won't be able to compete around the basket, how will they compete with the Spartans?

UConn will rely heavily on their backcourt trio of Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier and freshman Omar Calhoun. Boatright and Napier each took more than 20 percent of the Huskies' shots when they were on the court last season.

Keith Appling will be the key defensively for the Spartans. He'll be responsible for matching up with one of those guards. Last season, Appling held opponents below 30 percent shooting. Appling, Nix and Dawson were all in the top five in the Big Ten in fewest points per play allowed among the 82 players to defend at least 100 plays.

Of the 125 players nationally to defend at least 250 plays last season, Appling held opponents to the 12th-fewest points per play.

The combination of the Spartans' size and talent down low and their defense will make Kevin Ollie's debut an uphill battle for UConn.