The Connecticut Huskies cut down the nets on Tuesday night, holding off the Kentucky Wildcats, 60-54, to win their second national title in four years. It was all thanks to senior guard Shabazz Napier, who was named Most Outstanding Player for his efforts.
Napier started the game on fire, scoring 15 points in the first half alone. He finished with 22 points, shooting 8-of-16 from the floor and draining 4-of-9 three-pointers. Napier also pulled down six rebounds, dished out three assists and got three steals. It was the type of all-around performance we're used to seeing from Napier this season.
Napier was a freshman and part-time player during the Huskies' title run in 2010-11, but became a full-time starter a year later. He truly came into his own in 2013-14, averaging 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while making 40.3 of his three point attempts. He was named AAC Player of the Year, was a first-team All-American and won the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award.
Now Napier ends his college career on top, saving one of his best games for last and helping his team win its fourth championship in school history. The next step will be the NBA Draft, where Napier is sure to see lots of attention and scrutiny over the next few months. But for now, he'll get to enjoy this moment.