DeAndre Daniels is Connecticut's X-Factor in the 2014 NCAA Championship

By Trevor Lowry
Connecticut basketball
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Connecticut Huskies will be playing in the 2014 NCAA Championship later on tonight. Shabazz Napier is the best player on their team. I am sure you have heard that a time or two this tournament. Well, Napier may be the best player, but DeAndre Daniels is the x-fator in this one.

Daniels led the team in scoring with 20 points against the Florida Gators. He also had 10 rebounds. If he can put up numbers like that again, Connecticut is going to be very tough to beat.

However, Daniels will be going up against a tall team in the Kentucky Wildcats. Dakari Johnson stands at 7-foot-0 and Julius Randle stands at 6-foot-9. The three starting guards on this team are all 6-foot-6. Daniels comes in at 6-foot-9.

Still, Daniels has held his own in the NCAA tournament. He is averaging 17.6 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. What makes Daniels so good, though, is the fact that he can drain the long-ball. He has made 10 shots from behind the arc in the dance.

Napier had his worst scoring outing of the tourney against the Gators. That did not matter. Daniels came up big in the scoring department to make up for that. Other things clearly factored into the win, but Daniels stepping played a big part.

Basically any player on Kentucky can go off in the scoring department. The Huskies have some players who can have big nights, but definitely not as many candidates as the Wildcats.

Regardless, if Daniels has a big game — assuming Napier does as well — Connecticut has a very good chance of winning the title game. If Daniels has a mediocre game, the Wildcats could very well come up with the victory.

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.

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