For Shabazz Napier to continue his amazing run in the tournament, he’ll have to beat the Florida Gators and that in itself makes the odds on the UConn Huskies making it to the NCAA Championship Finals relatively slim. The seventh seeded Huskies are getting a +6.5 point cushion this Saturday against the Gators and to make matters worse (or better depending on your outlook), they also have the longest odds to win the NCAA Championship Finals.
It’s worth noting, however, that UConn has been exceptional at overcoming the odds in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve been underdogs in every single one of their games, and beaten everyone fairly decisively. That gives these Huskies a polished 3-0 SU and ATS record so far in the tournament, which suitably reflects their 21-15 ATS record on the season overall.
NCAA Championship To Win It All
- Florida Gators -120
- Kentucky Wildcats +280
- Wisconsin Badgers +400
- UConn Huskies +700
Napier has been an unstoppable force of nature as well, scoring 23.0 points per game with 5.7 assists as well. He’s continued to be a wrecking ball, and his sublime performance against the Spartans proved that there is nobody in the country that can stop him. Going up against Scottie Wilbekin is a stiff test to be sure, but Napier has evolved to an insane level over the course of his four-year college career. Considering how he’s blown up in the tournament itself, he is probably the best player in the Final Four.
Even there, the odds on the UConn Huskies making to the NCAA Championship Finals are tight in spite of Napier because the rest of the team has been inconsistent. This team began and finished the season as the 18th best team in the country according to the rankings and has essentially relied on their best player winning games. DeAndre Daniels has been a revelation at certain points in this tournament, but it’s hard to forget him and the rest of UConn getting run over by Louisville. Florida is a similarly built team in the front court and can wear you down defensively while running the floor with exceptional speed in transition.
So as good as UConn has been in the post season, it’s virtually impossible to see them getting past Florida in this weekend’s Final Four matchup. I still like Napier doing everything possible to take over the game, but eventually he’ll need help from his teammates and while other teams have struggled at slowing down the explosive guard, Wilbekin will be on him all night long. Someone else on UConn is going to have to step up, and I just don’t think that happens to a level that pushes the Huskies past Florida straight up. The odds on the UConn Huskies making it to the NCAA Championship Finals are extremely fair, and inviting as they prepare for Florida, but I’m not sure the best player in the country can beat the best team in the land all by himself.
And unless UConn plays Wisconsin, I have no idea how the Huskies can expect to beat Kentucky either.