No. 3 Connecticut will play for its third NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament title April 4 after edging No. 4 Kentucky, 56-55, in a Final Four game on April 2 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
UConn junior guard Kemba Walker, perhaps the best player in the country, led all players with 18 points and seven assists. Freshman guard Jeremy Lamb added 12 points to help the Huskies win their 10th straight game, despite a drought of field goals during the final 2:29 of the game.
Freshman guard Brandon Knight led Kentucky (29-9) with 17 points while freshman forward Terrance Jones added a double-double of 11 points and 15 rebounds. Junior guard DeAndre Liggins had a chance to win the game on a last second three-point try, but the shot banked off the rim, sending Connecticut to their first NCAA title game since 2004.
“The kids decided they didn’t want too go home, this is too much fun,” said UConn head coach Jim Calhoun. “So we’re going to stick around until Monday.”
UConn (31-9) will face No. 8 Butler (28-9) for the championship on April 4 at 9:23 p.m. Calhoun said he expects Butler, who will play in the championship game for a second straight year, to come just as advertised. Butler advanced over No. 11 Virginia Commonweath earlier in the evening.
“I’ve seen what they’ve done tonight and I saw what they did against Pitt,” Calhoun said, “So I know we’re in for a hell of a challenge come Monday night.”