That in and of itself is a major feat and worthy of respect and recognition. Add in the fact that the championship game against the Louisville Cardinals was the 5th game UConn had played in 5 days. Can you say ironmen?
UConn has the best player in the NCAA in Kemba Walker (Jimmer fans, calm down. Jimmer is the best scorer). Walker, in the Pitt game, buried a 19 footer at the buzzer to win the game and upset the #1 seeded Pittsburgh Panthers.
I tend to favor the chances of the teams that don’t just blow their opponents out (Duke), but win close games where they come from behind or swap leads in the last 2 minutes. Teams that win those games, are the teams that win the NCAA Tournament 4 times out of 5.
The Big East Championship Game came down to the final shot. UConn was up 65-64 and Louisville was inbounding the basketball. UConn tipped the pass and Kemba Walker recovered it and drew a foul with just 16.4 seconds left. Walker hit both free throws to put the Huskies up by 3.
Louisville got the ball to Mike Marra, who drew a foul on Kemba Walker while shooting from behind the arch with 3.3 seconds left.
You talk about nerve-racking. Marra needed all 3 just to tie. He drained the first one and missed the second. Trying to miss the third free throw and get an offensive rebound, Marra accidentally made the 3rd free throw. UConn inbounded to freshman Shabazz Napier and the Cardinals sent him right to the line. He drilled both of them to put the Huskies back up by 3.
The final shot attempt for Louisville was clean but hit iron and UConn secured the Big East Tournament Champion title.
If UConn can continue this level of play into the “Big Dance”, they have a great shot at not only going deep into the rounds, but winning the tournament altogether.