Numbers Behind The Game
The UConn Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats have each made a dramatic run to reach tonight’s NCAA championship. Now take a look at the numbers behind the game.
• 18 — Combined winning margin of Kentucky in its five NCAA tournament games, the lowest for a national championship game team in the history of the event.
• 15 — The combined seeding for the two teams Monday night: Connecticut at No. 7 and Kentucky at No. 8. The previous high was 11, with No. 3 Connecticut and No. 8 Butler in 2011. “Well, I don’t think we were an eight seed and I don’t think Connecticut was a seven seed … but that’s where they seeded us,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said.
• 26 — Years since the national champion was unranked in the final Associated Press regular-season poll: Kansas in 1988. Kentucky was unranked in this season’s final poll, and in terms of votes received, was just ahead of Stephen F. Austin and Harvard.
• 3 — No records are kept for this, but it might be the first championship game between two teams who were each beaten three times during the season by one opponent: Connecticut by Louisville and Kentucky by Florida.
• 17 — Teams ranked higher in the final AP than both teams in the national championship game. Connecticut was No. 18. The Huskies would be the lowest-ranked champion in 26 years.
• 18 — Combined defeats for Connecticut and Kentucky, tied for the most ever in a championship game. Butler and Connecticut also had 18 in 2011.
• 3 — National champions with double-digit losses. They all happened within six years in the 1980s: NC State (10) in 1983, Villanova (10) in 1985 and Kansas (11) in 1988. Kentucky, currently 29-10, would be the first in 26 years.
• 35 — Aaron Harrison points in Kentucky’s past three NCAA tournament games.
• 9 — Aaron Harrison points in the final 39 seconds of the past three games, or more than 25 percent.
• 56 — NCAA tournament games coached by Kentucky’s John Calipari.
• 5 — NCAA tournament games coached by Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie.
• 194 — Combined college games played by the entire Kentucky starting lineup of five freshmen.
• 142 — College games played by Connecticut senior Shabazz Napier.
• 5 — National championships in the past 18 years by Kentucky and Connecticut.
• 9 — Kentucky has trailed by at least nine points in its past four NCAA tournament games, and come back to win.
• 8 — Kentucky national championships, No. 2 on the all-time list.
• 11 — UCLA national championships. A win Monday, and the Wildcats will be closing on the Bruins.