UConn facing Kentucky in National Championship

UConn facing Kentucky in National Championship
April 6, 2014, 8:45 pm
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When you think about some of the great NCAA basketball programs in the nation, UConn certainly comes to mind.

But this season? Nobody expected them to be where they now are - in the National Championship.

Are they really this good? It's taken quite some time for them to get it all together, but it looks like they have.

CSNNE's Eric Frede was there in Dallas calling the UConn-Florida game for Tru TV, and he checks in with us here to discuss UConn's season and tournament run.

"Well they've definitely had their ups and downs, there's no question about that," Frede said, "getting blown out by Louisville just a couple of weeks before this tournament run. But when you take a look at what they've done in this tournament, they went to overtime with St. Joseph's, which is a good starting five, then defeated No. 6 Villanova, No. 9 Iowa State, No. 11 Michigan State, and last night No. 1 Florida, you can't consider them the underdogs anymore.

"But I must say in the hours since Kentucky came back to beat Wisconsin here in Dallas, more of the talk is about Kentucky and more and more people are looking at Kentucky as the favorite. So UConn has that underdog title again which is perfect for how Kevin Ollie coaches this team, how he wants them to think, and how he wants them to carry themselves. It worked against Florida last night, and we'll see if it carries through in the championship game Monday night."

Shabazz Napier has been playing like one of the best in all of college basketball, but he's had some help too. DeAndrew Daniels has been a strong No. 2 guy on the Huskies during the tournament.

"I think he's been the swing factor in this tournament for UConn," Frede said of Daniels. "Napier is going to get his, and he's going to get headlines and he deservers them, he's the best player in the tournament. But Daniels is really stepping forward."

So, who is Frede taking for Monday night's finale?

"I'm still going to with UConn," he said. "There's just something about the way this mix has worked . . . I think they find a way to do it even though Kentucky has the talent, they have the big guys, they've got guys who have all of a sudden come together, but I'm still backing UConn."