Surprising Connecticut and Kentucky make NCAA finals

Sun Apr 6, 2014 12:58am EDT
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(Reuters) - Connecticut ended heavily favored Florida's 30-game winning streak and advanced to the national collegiate basketball title game with a 63-53 victory on Saturday.

The Huskies, the last team to defeat Florida's Gators, will play equally surprising Kentucky for the NCAA championship on Monday in the Dallas Cowboys' home stadium at Arlington, Texas.

Kentucky's young Wildcats beat Wisconsin 74-73 on Aaron Harrison's clutch three-pointer with less than six seconds to play in the second semi-final as more than 79,000 fans looked on.

"I didn't play that well today but I hit a big shot," said Harrison after his third consecutive game-winning three-pointer.

The Wildcats, who start five freshmen, will be aiming for their second national title in three seasons and ninth overall.

Connecticut has won three previous championships, the last in 2011.

Forward DeAndre Daniels sparked Connecticut in its shock win over Florida, contributing 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Huskies took control after trailing by 12 points early in the contest.

"We feel like we have been doubted the whole season," Daniels told reporters after the big win. "But that's what drives us ... We like to go out and try to prove people wrong."

Guard Shabazz Napier, key to Connecticut's 65-64 victory over Florida on December 2, added 12 points and six assists and stole the ball four times from the Gators, who were the top seed in tournament.   Continued...

Apr 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward DeAndre Daniels (2) shoots the ball against Florida Gators center Patric Young (4) during the second half during the semifinals of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Steppig, NCAA Photos/Pool via USA TODAY Sports