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Monday's Notes

This year's title game has the potential to be truly remarkable.

It's not bragging if you can do it, and Shabazz Napier thinks UConn cah.
It's not bragging if you can do it, and Shabazz Napier thinks UConn cah.
Ronald Martinez

Brett Friedlander grades the new ACC hires, giving Virginia Tech an A+, Wake a B and Boston College a C.  Seems about right.

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Barry Jacobs has a column up on early entries and how they have affected programs, coaches and fans. And players, we should add.

The national championship will be decided tonight, and not suprisingly, Kentucky's approach, which focuses heavily on one-and-dones, or as John Calipari would have it, players who proceed and succeed.

Euphemisms are hard to get right and like Fox News's attempt a while back to recast suicide bombers as homicide bombers, Calipari might have a point, but it'll be widely ignored.

That'll be the case for Big 12 jefe Bob Bowlsby, who has no patience for Kentucky's approach.

Not that the folks at Kentucky care. In fact, they seem to view it as a plus, as motivation. It's not exactly the Fab Five of yore, but it's a branch of the same tree.

This popped up on Reddit after Aaron Harrison's game winner against Wisconsin, and by coincidence, UConn's Ryan Boatwright has some words that can only come with experience, and which, given UConn's masterful defense, should give the confident young shootists from Lexington some pause:

"He's a great player and those are great shots. But, once again, experience and being a defensive player comes into effect.

"If you watched his last two games, he hit the same shot from the same spot.

"If you're up two (points), you've got to run him off the three-point line. You take the two points and go to overtime. No matter what, you don't let them get a three-point shot off.

"In that situation, I would have got up in him. If he's going to take the three, he would have to dribble. He didn't even dribble the ball (against Wisconsin). He (Gasser) gave him his space. He (Harrison) just squared up and shot it in rhythm. You've got to make him shoot off the dribble or make him attack the rim."

That's not boastful, that's not bragging, that's a clear-eyed assessment of mistakes by Michigan and Wisconsin, respectively. Harrison might hit another huge shot and put himself fully into legend, but he's going to have to earn it.

UConn has a chance to pull a fairly rare accomplishment: if the women beat Notre Dame in the women's finals and the men beat Kentucky, well, that's an amazing year.

To pull off the men's side, the Huskies will have to deal with some very husky Wildcats, not least of all Julius Randle, who has shown a different level lately. He's been brilliant.

But if you harass the guards enough, getting the ball inside gets really difficult. As Al McGuire said about Phil Ford, if you cut the head off, the body dies.

It won't be easy and UConn has to stay about of foul trouble, but it's possible. And UConn has not just tremendous heart but great chemistry as well.

Based on both team's play - Kentucky has shown great heart as well - it'll be close at the end. And one thing may tip the balance, and that's foul shooting. UConn's hitting 86% for the tourney to Kentucky's 70.6%. If the game is as close as it looks to be, that could tip the balance.