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Home > Featured Articles, News > Kemba and the Miracles: UConn will play for National title

Kemba and the Miracles: UConn will play for National title

By: Kels Dayton

Who would have ever thought this was possible?

I mean really. This UConn team, full of unknowns and freshman at the beginning of the season, now forty minutes away from basketball heaven?

Most UConn fans were just hoping to make the Tournament after the debacle that was last season. Remember Stanley Robinson, Jerome Dyson, and Jeff Adrien? That team, with all their talent, was perhaps the most underachieving team in Huskies history, bowing out in the early rounds of the NIT.

This team is undoubtedly the most overachieving one. The difference between the two is jaw-droppingly astounding. While last season made you want to puke, this one makes you want to cry tears of joy.

In the blink of an eye, the Huskies are back in the big-time, after many people had been proclaiming their demise.

Freshman Guard Jeremy Lamb and the Huskies will play for a miraculous national championship Monday night. (AP Photo)

Just look at the Huskies. In the national freakin’ championship game. 13-0 in tournament games this season. Being led by a kid who has become a national sensation. Kemba Walker has out-Jimmered Jimmer. He’s led his team to the national final and become a one-name star in living rooms across the country.

It has been an utterly remarkable, unbelievable, story-book, movie-script, future 30-for-30 documentary of a season.

Call it Kemba and the Miracles.

Walker has etched his name right alongside Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor as the five best players in Connecticut history. Add Donyell Marshall and that’s one heck of a lineup.

And how about the team they’ll be facing on Monday night? Butler has been a beyond-remarkable story, replicating their once-in-a-lifetime run of last season by getting right back to the national championship game. The Bulldogs’ run over the past two years has so resembled the movie Hoosiers that it would not be surprising to hear the famous celebratory theme music that plays after Hickory High wins the state title just emanate out of the ether if the Bulldogs capture the championship Monday night.

Butler came within a fraction of an inch of the most perfect sports story in world history last year. If Gordon Hayward’s shot had gone down, it would have been the perfect capping to the most perfect tournament run ever. Words could not have described that feeling.

That’s why this is going to be an incredible championship game. Probably one of the greatest of all time. Each of these teams have gone on runs that rival anything Villanova, NC State or Kansas did in the 80’s, and is even more remarkable than what Indiana State and Michigan State produced in 1979.

One final thought:

After the game in the locker room, an elated-beyond-words Jim Calhoun gave a speech to his team. He reminded this bunch of kids who have taken them on the ride of his life that he once promised them that if they worked hard and played the right way, he would bring them somewhere special.

“Well, what do you think?” he said, eyes glowing.

They all smiled and clapped and nodded in solemn amazement.

It was the perfect ending to a beautiful night.

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