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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Connecticut and Kentucky couldnt have met in last years champions
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Connecticut and Kentucky couldnt have met in last years championship game and few people gave them a chance to be in this years. Evgeny Kuznetsov Jersey . Seventh-seeded Connecticut and eighth-seeded Kentucky meet Monday night in one of the unlikeliest NCAA championship games ever. Watch the game live on TSN at 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt. Neither was around in last years post-season -- Connecticut because of a tournament ban over academic issues; Kentucky because it didnt make the field. And neither looked like national title contenders at times this season. Kentucky (29-10) and its outstanding freshmen went from preseason No. 1 to out of the rankings after some bad losses. And Connecticut (31-8) was not a popular post-season pick after finishing tied for third in the American Athletic Conference with multiple losses to Louisville and SMU. In the tournament, the Huskies have stopped some of the countrys top guards and put themselves in position for their fourth national championship, the previous three under Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun. "Hopefully we have an opportunity to fall back on our defence," second-year coach Kevin Ollie said. "We have been doing that the whole year." If Kentucky has a chance to win in the final minute, that defence better pay attention to guard Aaron Harrison, one of five freshmen starters. He has hit huge 3-pointers in the Wildcats last three games. Harrison rattled in a 26-footer with 5.7 seconds to go in the 74-73 win over Wisconsin in the semifinals. He made almost the exact same shot with 2.3 seconds left against Michigan for a 75-72 win that sent the Wildcats to the Final Four. Against Louisville, he hit a 3 with 39 seconds left to give Kentucky the lead for good in a 74-69. "The biggest thing is hes not afraid to miss," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "Hes OK with it. Hes comfortable in his own skin. ... If youre going to make those kind of shots, you absolutely cannot be afraid to miss them." These two programs have combined to win six of the last 18 NCAA titles. "Playing against Connecticut, I mean, Im just happy were still playing," Calipari said. Neither program could say that last year. Connecticut was banned from the post-season after failing to meet NCAA academic standard. It had practice limitations and lost a scholarship. The players could have transferred but didnt. The Huskies finished 20-10 in Ollies first year. They took the hit and made it back to the biggest stage. "Its actually very impressive," NCAA president Mark Emmert said Sunday. "To see that team hold together. I think its a commitment to those young men on that team that hung together." The leader of the group is All-American Shabazz Napier who leads the team in almost every statistical category. Hes the guy who makes the big shot or big pass. Fellow guard Ryan Boatright has taken some of the spotlight recently for his defensive performances against the likes of Keith Appling of Michigan State and Scottie Wilbekin of Florida. "Defence is the biggest thing for me. The points will come," Boatright said. "I want to make him uncomfortable, dont let him get in a rhythm or flow. Their guards, God blessed them with height and they will try to take advantage of smaller guys like us but Ive been the smaller guy my whole life and Ive never backed down." Kentucky is playing its best basketball lately, led by big man Julius Randle and the Harrison twins. "We just had too much talent and we saw in spurts how good we could be," Randle said, "so it just felt like it was a matter of time before it clicked." This is Caliparis fourth Final Four, but the first two -- Massachusetts in 1996 and Memphis in 2008 -- were vacated over NCAA rules violations. Now the Wildcats are on an 11-game winning streak in the NCAA tournament and they are one win from a ninth national championship for Kentucky. "We all play the game of basketball to compete against the best," Napier said. "This is one of them games. ... They worked hard to get to this point and we did too. Were going to do our best to get this W." Washington Capitals Jerseys .com) - Stephen Currys jumper with 3. Custom Washington Capitals Jerseys . - Mike Magee converted two penalty kicks in a 10-minute span of the first half and the Chicago Fire beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Sunday. http://www.shopcapitalsonline.com/Capita...as-Jersey/ . Jason Zucker and Matt Cooke also scored for Minnesota, which has won five of six. Kuemper made five saves in the first, nine in the second, and nine in the third. The rookies best save came with 2:17 left in the third period when he denied former Wild forward Matt Cullen from just outside of the crease on the right side.The first major trade domino has fallen. Ryan Miller and Steve Ott have been traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2016. The Sabres scratched both Miller and team captain Ott ahead of Friday nights home game against the San Jose Sharks. Neither player was on the ice for the teams warm-up at the First Niagara Center. "The thought of getting the grit and determination of a player like Steve Ott and obviously Ryan Millers resume speaks for itself, we think this gives us a better opportunity for success this year," said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. The Sabres currently sit last in the NHL with a 17-34-8 record and are believed to be poised to move several veteran pieces in an effort to add future assets. The conditional third-round pick in 2016 would become a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft if Miller re-signs with the Blues or St. Louis makes it to the 2014 Western Conference Final. However, should that pick become a first-rounder, the Blues would then acquire the Minnesota Wilds second-round pick (which Buffalo acquired as part of the return for Jason Pominville) as well as the Sabres own 2014 third-rounder. If the Blues dont reach the Western Conference Final but sign Miller after the 2014 NHL Draft has taken place, then Buffalo would receive a 2016 second-round pick. Buffalo also retained a portion of Millers salary in the trade, according to a report on the teams official web site. Both Miller and Ott will join the Blues in Phoenix and are expected to be available for Sundays game against the Coyotes. The 33-year-old Miller has posted a 15-22-3 record with the Sabres this season, with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. Originally selected in the fifth round (138th overall) by the Sabres at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Miller has spent his entire 11-year NHL career in Buffalo, posting a 284-186-1-56-28 record with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. Miller is in the final year of a five-year deal worth an average annual value of $6.25 million that he signed with the Sabres prior to the 2009-10 season. "I got to know some of the (Blues) with (USA Hockey)," Miller said during a news conference in Buffalo after the deal was announced. "They have a very strong competitive spirit, so I look forward to joining that group." Ott, 31, has appeared in 59 games with the Sabres this season, scoring nine goals and 11 assists. He is in the final year of a four-year, $11.8 million contract and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Ott was selected in the first round (25th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars and played nine seasons in Dallas before being traded to Buffalo in 2012. In 673 career games with the Sabres and Stars, Ott has scorred 103 goals and 161 assists while racking up 1,318 penalty minutes. Nathan Walker Jersey. "Im really excited to have this opportunity with St. Louis," said Ott. "My dream and my biggest goal is to have a chance at a Stanley Cup." Halak, 28, has appeared in 40 games with the Blues this season recording a 24-9-4 record, with a 2.23 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. He is currently in the final year of a four-year, $15 million contract he signed prior to the 2010-11 season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Halak was selected in the ninth round (271st overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He has appeared in 260 career games with the Blues and Canadiens, posting a 139-81-26-29 record with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. The Slovakian has represented his country on numerous occasions including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where he backstopped his team to a quarter-final upset over Sweden en route to a fourth-place finish. He played again at the recent Sochi Games where his team finished 11th. Speaking to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Halak said. "(The trade) is still fresh. Youre getting a good goalie. Good luck in the playoffs." In 58 games with the Blues this season, Stewart has scored 15 goals and 11 assists. Currently in the first of a two-year deal he signed prior to this season, Stewarts contract carries an average annual value of $4.15 million. Originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round (18th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Stewart has appeared in 377 career games with the Blues and Avalanche, scoring 115 goals and 113 assists. He was acquired by the Blues along with Kevin Shattenkirk and a second-round draft pick in the blockbuster deal that sent Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a first round pick to Colorado in February, 2011. Carrier, a 19-year-old prospect, was selected in the second round (57th overall) by the Blues at the 2013 NHL Draft. The left winger has scored 17 goals and 39 assists in 59 combined games with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Drummondville Voltigeurs so far this season in the QMJHL. The Sabres now possess 10 combined picks in the first two rounds of the 2014 and 2015 Drafts. In addition to their own first- and second-round picks in 2014 they possess the Blues first-rounder,  the Los Angeles Kings second-round pick (acquired in excahnge for Robyn Regehr) and the aforementioned Minnesota second-rounder. In addition to their own 2015 picks they also own the Kings second round pick (also obtained in the Regehr trade) and the New York Islanders second-rounder (acquired in the trade that sent Thomas Venk to Long Island). They also possess a conditional first from the New York Islanders - in either 2014 or 2015, to be determined by the Islanders - as part of the return for Vanek. Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Wholesale NFL Gear Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Online Cheap Jerseys 2020 ' ' '
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