The March Madness seeding experts ignored the pre-season hype about Kentucky basketball when deciding the 2014 men’s bracket. Originally forecast to be the nation’s top team, the Kentucky Wildcats entered the tournament as a No. 8 seed. Tonight they’re playing for the national championship with that same seeding, and they’re going up against the No. 7 UConn Huskies. Seldom has a No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchup held so much intrigue. Then again, seldom have teams with these rankings made it to the final game. You can watch Kentucky vs UConn basketball live online free NCAA championship using a few different services.
Other than their close proximity seedings, the Kentucky and UConn basketball teams are very evenly matched. Through the NCAA March Madness tournament, both teams are shooting better than 50%, with the slight edge going to UConn. The turnover ratio also favors UConn, with a 17.3% TO% compared to Kentucky’s 18%. Kentucky differentiates themselves in the rebounding department, where they hold a 40.4% to 34.7% offensive rebounding advantage over UConn. But the advantage really swings in Kentucky’s favor when you look at free throws: 51.8% compared to UConn’s 38.8%.
That bodes well for Kentucky if tonight’s Kentucky vs UConn game is a close one, which most experts predict it will be. In fact, the official point spread is Kentucky by 2.5 points, which could be made or missed at the free throw line.
But Kentucky hasn’t faced a team like UConn before. And specifically, when you watch Kentucky vs UConn basketball live online free NCAA championship, you’ll be watching the one player who’s the reason why. UConn senior Shabazz Napier, whom Reggie Miller called “the best player on the floor” this morning on The Dan Patrick Show, is unlike any guard Kentucky has seen all year. Kentucky has struggled this year defending smaller guards, even before the March Madness tournament. That’s exactly what senior Napier is, and it’s what makes him the biggest threat to Kentucky winning the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game.
If a Kentucky win requires a clutch performance, the Wildcats will no doubt turn to freshman Aaron Harrison, who sank a ridiculous three-pointer in the closing seconds to give the Wildcats a 74-73 win over Wisconsin in the Final Four on Saturday.
Harrison is one of five starting freshman for Kentucky. For those taking notes at home, the last time the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship had an all-freshman starting lineup was 1982, when Michigan started a team nicknamed “The Fab Five.” In other words, tonight’s game is March Madness at its retro finest.
Kentucky basketball has already taken care of No. 9 seed Kansas State, No. 1 Wichita State, a No. 4 and last year’s champions (Louisville), a No. 2 and last year’s runner-up (Michigan), and No. 2 Wisconsin. Not bad for freshmen.
That’s not to say UConn doesn’t have its own momentum. So far in the NCAA March Madness tournament the Huskies have beaten a challenging No. 10 (Saint Joseph’s), No. 2 Villanova, No. 3 Iowa State, an experienced No. 4 (Michigan State) and the No. 1 Florida Gators just this past Saturday, a team most people picked to win it all.
In short, tonight’s NCAA March Madness men’s championship has all the fixings to be epic. You can watch Kentucky vs UConn basketball live online free NCAA championship by visiting the official tournament website and tuning in live on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The NCAA’s March Madness site has let fans watch every tournament game free, including live broadcasts from TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS. Fortunately, that appears to be the case tonight as well for anyone who can’t watch the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats take on the No. 7 UConn Huskies tonight at 6:09 PST / 9:09 EST live on CBS. The live stream should show the CBS Sports broadcast flawlessly, with just a few different ads.