High expectations for NCAA championship

As spring break has come to an end, there is still one thing for students to be excited about this week. The NCAA men’s basketball championship game. Whether their brackets have been completely busted or if they are on track to win the jackpot, students at DHS have an exciting game of college basketball to look forward to.

This tournament has been one of several upsets, Cinderella stories and shocking games. From Duke losing in the first round, to a seventh and eighth seed going to the final, there has been plenty of focus on the underdogs. However whem the final game ends, the winner will surely have completed a magical tournament that not many fans saw coming.

“The amount of upsets this season has been shocking,” junior Tristayn Owen said. “It really makes the tournament crazy and fun to watch”

Between Connecticut (UConn) and Kentucky, there are several different factors that could mean success for both teams. Since many people did not expect the two teams to come out on top of their brackets, both teams have the momentum going forward.

The UConn Huskies have played a tournament full of fantastic games, with upset wins over Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan State and Florida. Having won all four of those games by five points or more, there is no doubt that they had a strong game plan for the tournament.

“Although it was sad to see Michigan State fail to make the final four, UConn were very impressive this tournament,” junior Griffin Kendziorski said.

UConn senior guard Shabazz Napier has put on a performance that many fans will remember forever. In the last three games before the final four, Napier managed to put up at least 19 points, with a high of 25 points against Michigan State. With Napier’s ability to lead his team in scoring and provide assists for his teammates, UConn have the power to go on scoring runs for long periods of time during games. On top of star player performances, UConn have the ability to hit clutch free throws late in games as well. If they manage to do so Monday night against Kentucky, they could very well be the next national champions.

“UConn is obviously a school that knows how to handle the moment by the fact that they get hot at the right moments almost every year,” junior Fritz Hyde said.

Coming from the other side of the bracket, Kentucky has also managed to shock the nation by entering the final game. Although their high seeding suggests that they are underdogs, they could very well be considered the favorites due to their past championship records. With a team loaded with freshmen, young blood could come out victorious this season. Although it may seem strange for freshmen to lead a team to victory, Kentucky’s championship triumph two seasons ago suggests that age is not an important factor.

“I can admit that Kentucky are the most under-seeded team in the tournament,” Hyde said. “They obviously have an immense amount of talent.”

The most noticeable factor to Kentucky’s success is their clutch performances in tight games. In their past three games, Kentucky freshman guard Aaron Harrison has hit the game winning shot within 10 seconds left and a hand in his face. This clutch factor could drive the Wildcats to victory if the game is close in the closing stages.

“Michigan and Wisconsin both got caught up looking ahead to their next game when Harrison decided his whole team wanted to play one more game in Kentucky Blue before going pro,” junior Josh Pasek said.

Monday night’s game will be full of clutch plays, high scoring players,and a very exciting atmosphere. With both teams having won the championship in the last four years, there is no doubt that a competitive game will be played.

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Shane Huisman

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