Kentucky vs. Connecticut: An Unlikely National Championship

4/7/14 in NCAABB   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Apr 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Julius Randle (30) celebrates after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers in the semifinals of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY SportsRaise your hand if you had the No. 7 Connecticut Huskies against the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats in the final of the 2014 NCAA tournament.

To the seven liars out there, you can go ahead and put your hand down.

The Huskies and Wildcats will play in Arlington on Monday night in perhaps the most unlikely national championship game in tournament history. Never before have we had a matchup featuring this high of a combined seed total.

But somehow, two teams that looked lost in early March have found their way.

For John Calipari and company, things reached a breaking point on the first day of March when they lost on the road to a South Carolina team that won only five SEC games all season. That loss came days after a disappointing home loss to Arkansas.

As for the Huskies, their lowest point of the season came on March 8 against Kentucky's biggest nemesis, the Louisville Cardinals. Kevin Ollie's team was dropped by 33 points, leaving many to wonder if this team would even make it past the first round once it reached NCAA tournament play.

Since those points, both teams have taken their game to a whole new level.

The Wildcats knocked off previously unbeaten Wichita State, the aforementioned Cardinals, Michigan, and Wisconsin on their path to the final.

Ollie has lead his team on a miraculous run with a comeback win over St. Joseph's, and wins over Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan State, and top overall seed Florida.

Needless to say, the paths to Monday's clash have not been for the faint of heart.

Before the season started, we expected Kentucky to be great. So perhaps we shouldn't be all that shocked that Calipari has his team playing for college basketball's biggest prize for the second time in the past three seasons.

UConn, on the other hand, was never considered a national title contender. Perhaps they should have been with a core of Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels, and Ryan Boatright. But for whatever reason, they couldn't put it all together. Until now, that is.

From a seeding perspective, this year's national title game may not be one that a single college basketball fan could have expected.

However, if you look at the rosters of each of these teams, you being to wonder how neither ended up as a one-seed entering the Big Dance.

That's the beauty of March Madness. Talented teams that couldn't find the chemistry needed to be spectacular in the regular season are given another opportunity to reach their potential.

So pay no attention to the seeds when tip-off arrives. Because make no mistake about it, these two overly talented teams belong.

Who are you picking to win the 2014 national title game? Kentucky or UConn? Let us know by commenting below! For more college basketball talk, follow FanIQ or myself on Twitter!
 
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