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2014 NCAA Tournament Championship Game Open Thread: Connecticut Huskies vs. Kentucky Wildcats

This is what we live for, Big Blue Nation. Let's cheer the team to #9!

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation — on the doorstep of NCAA Tournament championship #9. The game thread is up a little early tonight so we can all get our minds right for the game.

The foe tonight is UConn, holder of three NCAA Tournament championship trophies. That's more than Florida, as many as Louisville and Kansas. UConn has to be considered on of the top ten programs in America, and they have a quality group opposing Kentucky tonight. In fact, the last time we met UConn, we fell to them in the Final Four, a tournament they went on to win. I would very much like to avenge that loss tonight, but none of the players save Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson were even in college then.

With a win tonight, Kentucky would vault four clear of North Carolina and Indiana, and represent John Calipari's second NCAA Tournament title at Kentucky.

Essentials for victory

  • Defend the three — Kentucky has to be very aware of 3-point shooters. I am especially concerned about Neils Giffey, and Jame's Young. Young has a nasty habit of leaving his man open.

  • Rebound like mad — If Kentucky fails to significantly outrebound UConn, they will lose. Book it.

  • Attack the rim, but pass the ball — Let's have no more DDFH. Kentucky has to make some perimeter shots today.

  • Get back in transition — Transition is both a strong and weak point for Kentucky. Defensive transition is definitely the weaker of the two, and needs special attention.

  • Take care of the ball — UConn gets a lot of wins by forcing turnovers with their small, disruptive guards. Kentucky must find a way to take care of that.

Some quick tweets of interest: