Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NCAA finalists missed '13 tournament

UConn forward DeAndre Daniels (2) celebrates in the final seconds of the Huskies' victory over Florida.


UConn forward DeAndre Daniels (2) celebrates in the final seconds of the Huskies' victory over Florida.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Monday's title game will be between No. 8 seed Kentucky and No. 7 Connecticut, neither of which was in the NCAA Tournament last year.

The last time two teams that missed the tournament the previous year made the final was 1966, Texas Western versus Kentucky.

UConn coach Kevin Ollie said he had faith the Huskies would make the final. He also thanked Florida coach Billy Donovan after UConn beat the Gators in the semifinals Saturday.

"I just want to really thank Billy Donovan," Ollie said. "He's a great, terrific, coach. Florida's a great team, great coach, Hall of Fame coach, and it's an honor to play against him and compete."

Record Crowd: A crowd of 79,444 was at the semifinals at AT&T Stadium, a record for an NCAA basketball game.

Painful End: The cramping that affected Florida G Scottie Wilbekin in last week's Elite Eight returned Saturday. Wilbekin played 34 minutes against UConn, but he could be seen having his legs iced by head athletic trainer Duke Werner.

"He didn't have any cramping issues in practice or anything else like that," Donovan said. "He's had a problem with that at different points in time in the season, and very, very rarely does he ask me to come out. But he asked to come out within the first minute of the second half, so I just took him out and tried to give Kasey (Hill) a chance."

Hill had four turnovers, and said he believed Wilbekin's cramping issues affected his game. He averaged 16 points in the NCAA Tournament but finished with just four.

"He's our best player on the team, and he's our leader, so that hurt us a little," Hill said.

"We really wanted to stay on Wilbekin, keep him out of the lane, keep him on one side," Ollie said. "We call it ace of spades. That was the ace of spades in this game, we wanted to take him out."

Frazier's Woes: Florida G Michael Frazier of Tampa never had another point after hitting a 3-pointer on the opening possession. Frazier, who set the school record for 3s this season, said UConn's defense made it difficult for him. "They pretty much just denied me the ball," he said. "But it opened up things for my teammates so Casey (Prather) was able to get down the lane and we were able to get layups, but they didn't let me get the ball much."

OF NOTE: This is the second time in eight years that the final won't have a No. 1 seed. In 2011, No. 3 UConn beat No. 8 Butler. … UConn is the third No. 7 or lower seed to reach the title game since the field expanded in 1985, joining Butler (2011) and No. 8 Villanova (1985).

Howard's support: Dwight Howard showed some love for the alma mater of Rockets teammate Chandler Parsons. Howard, who played his first eight NBA seasons with the Magic, was seen doing the Gator chomp in the Florida student section. Parsons was with him. Howard went straight to the NBA out of high school. Parsons was a freshman when UF won the 2007 national title.

Honors: The new members of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame were honored at halftime. Shaquille O'Neal was the only living inductee not present. Former LSU coach Dale Brown — O'Neal's college coach — attended, along with former Maryland coach Gary Williams and former Duke star Grant Hill. Others being inducted in November: Zelmo Beaty, Howard Garfinkel, Darrell Griffith and former Stetson coach Glen Wilkes.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

NCAA finalists missed '13 tournament 04/05/14 [Last modified: Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with Cobb on hill, Beckham in lineup


    UPDATE, 3:46: After sitting out Thursday in recovering from extraction of a tooth, former Rays SS Tim Beckham is in the Orioles lineup tonight for his first game against his ex-mates, batting leadoff and playing short.

  2. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility


    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?


    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this


    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball in the second quarter Monday night, Sept. 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)