(Updated 4/6/2014) Junior forward DeAndre Daniels scored a doubled-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds to help push the No. 7 seed Connecticut Huskies past the No. 1 seed Florida Gators, 63-53, in a Final Four game on April 5 in Dallas.
The Huskies will make their eighth appearance in a NCAA championship game on April 7, where they will face No. 8 seed Kentucky. If the Huskies win, second-year Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie will become just the fourth African-American to lead a team to the NCAA Men’s Basketball title, following legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, and former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith.
Florida suffered just three losses this season, but two of them came at the hands of Connecticut. The Huskies added a third defeat thanks to their constant defensive pressure. Senior guard Shabazz Napier and junior guard Ryan Boatwright were relentless in attacking Florida’s backcourt and forced 11 turnovers. At one point, Napier stripped the ball from Florida senior guard Scottie Wilbekin on back-to-back possessions, creating easy transition points.
“UConn was very good with their pressure on our guards and we didn’t convert points,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said after the game. “They scored a lot on as well. So all the credit goes to them.”
Napier finished with 12 points, six assists and four steals, while Boatwright added 13 points with six rebounds and three assists.
Senior center Patrick Young led Florida with 19 points and five rebounds in the loss; senior forward Casey Prather followed with 15 points for the Gators.