By Matthew Cannata @PhinManiacs on March 31, 2014
The UConn Huskies are in the Final Four and will take on Florida on Saturday. After an up-and-down season and then losing to Louisville in the AAC Championship, no one expected UConn to go deep into the tournament. Yet, here they are only needing one more win to play in the national championship game. Here are five reasons why they will not only make it to the championship, but will win it all.
UConn lost eight games this year to some pretty good teams. In the AAC Championship, it lost to Louisville 71-61. This team knows what losing feels like especially, when they were so close to winning the first-ever AAC tournament. Having that taste in their mouths will motivate the Huskies to play even harder so they don't fall short again.
Jim Calhoun is arguably the best men's basketball coach in NCAA history. While he may have stepped down as head coach, make no mistake about it -- Calhoun still has a very large presence in the organization. His presence and experience will help head coach Kevin Ollie and the players navigate through all of the media attention before tip-off on Saturday.
The Huskies entered the NCAA tournament as the seventh seed. After barely winning in the first round against St. Joseph's, many expected them to fall Villanova. When they beat them, no one thought there was any way they would beat Iowa State. When they did that, every analyst said that Michigan State was just too good.
Guess what? They beat them too. The Huskies are playing with house money and there is no pressure on them.
Kevin Ollie is the definition of a coach that players love to play for. Even though he is a no-nonsense coach who makes his players pay attention to the smallest details, the players can relate to him and he has a long NBA track record to back up what he's teaching. You can see the joy that the players have playing for Ollie before, during and after each and every game. He will have no problem motivating them in the Final Four.
Shabazz Napier. That's why the Huskies will win it all. He was the most outstanding player of the East Regional tournament and was the main reason UConn beat Michigan State. Napier didn't jump to the NBA when UConn was going through hard times. He stuck with the team, and now the senior wants to end his college career on top. He is the ultimate leader who everyone on the team looks up to. They won't want to let him down in the last two games.
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