Cloudy
61°
Cloudy
Hi 62° | Lo 50°

There’s Fight in This Dog: A Year After Grade Ban, Connecticut Wears Another Crown

  • Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier (13) tries to control the ball as Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) defends during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier (13) tries to control the ball as Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) defends during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier (13) tries to control the ball as Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) defends during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier (13) tries to control the ball as Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) defends during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) shoots between defenders Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (00) and guard Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

    Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) shoots between defenders Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (00) and guard Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) shoots between defenders Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (00) and guard Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

    Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) shoots between defenders Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (00) and guard Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, left, drives to the basket past Kentucky forward Alex Poythress during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, left, drives to the basket past Kentucky forward Alex Poythress during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, left, drives to the basket past Kentucky forward Alex Poythress during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, left, drives to the basket past Kentucky forward Alex Poythress during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Connecticut guard Niels Giffey (5) takes the ball behind Kentucky guard James Young (1) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut guard Niels Giffey (5) takes the ball behind Kentucky guard James Young (1) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut guard Niels Giffey (5) takes the ball behind Kentucky guard James Young (1) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut guard Niels Giffey (5) takes the ball behind Kentucky guard James Young (1) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • A Kentucky student cheers before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    A Kentucky student cheers before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • A Kentucky student cheers before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    A Kentucky student cheers before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut fans cheer before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Connecticut fans cheer before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Connecticut fans cheer before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Connecticut fans cheer before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Niels Giffey (5) shoots the ball against Kentucky during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

    Niels Giffey (5) shoots the ball against Kentucky during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

  • Niels Giffey (5) shoots the ball against Kentucky during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

    Niels Giffey (5) shoots the ball against Kentucky during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)

  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut forward DeAndre Daniels (2) dunks the ball in front of Kentucky's Dakari Johnson, right, and Andrew Harrison (5) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, Pool)

    Connecticut forward DeAndre Daniels (2) dunks the ball in front of Kentucky's Dakari Johnson, right, and Andrew Harrison (5) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, Pool)

  • Connecticut forward DeAndre Daniels (2) dunks the ball in front of Kentucky's Dakari Johnson, right, and Andrew Harrison (5) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, Pool)

    Connecticut forward DeAndre Daniels (2) dunks the ball in front of Kentucky's Dakari Johnson, right, and Andrew Harrison (5) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, Pool)

  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) drives to the basket between Kentucky's Marcus Lee (00) and Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) drives to the basket between Kentucky's Marcus Lee (00) and Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) drives to the basket between Kentucky's Marcus Lee (00) and Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) drives to the basket between Kentucky's Marcus Lee (00) and Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) blocks a shot by Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) blocks a shot by Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) blocks a shot by Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) blocks a shot by Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) shoots over Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, left, during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) shoots over Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, left, during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) shoots over Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, left, during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) shoots over Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, left, during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, top, lands on top of Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison during the second half of their NCAA Final Four championship game Monday, April 7, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, top, lands on top of Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison during the second half of their NCAA Final Four championship game Monday, April 7, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, top, lands on top of Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison during the second half of their NCAA Final Four championship game Monday, April 7, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, top, lands on top of Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison during the second half of their NCAA Final Four championship game Monday, April 7, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) leaves the court as Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright (11) celebrates after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut won 60-54. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) leaves the court as Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright (11) celebrates after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut won 60-54. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier (13) tries to control the ball as Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) defends during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier (13) tries to control the ball as Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) defends during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) shoots between defenders Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (00) and guard Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)
  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) shoots between defenders Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (00) and guard Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, left, drives to the basket past Kentucky forward Alex Poythress during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, left, drives to the basket past Kentucky forward Alex Poythress during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Connecticut guard Niels Giffey (5) takes the ball behind Kentucky guard James Young (1) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut guard Niels Giffey (5) takes the ball behind Kentucky guard James Young (1) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • A Kentucky student cheers before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • A Kentucky student cheers before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut fans cheer before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Connecticut fans cheer before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Niels Giffey (5) shoots the ball against Kentucky during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)
  • Niels Giffey (5) shoots the ball against Kentucky during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, pool)
  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut forward DeAndre Daniels (2) dunks the ball in front of Kentucky's Dakari Johnson, right, and Andrew Harrison (5) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, Pool)
  • Connecticut forward DeAndre Daniels (2) dunks the ball in front of Kentucky's Dakari Johnson, right, and Andrew Harrison (5) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Chris Steppig, Pool)
  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) drives to the basket between Kentucky's Marcus Lee (00) and Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah (20) drives to the basket between Kentucky's Marcus Lee (00) and Aaron Harrison (2) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) blocks a shot by Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) blocks a shot by Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) shoots over Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, left, during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) shoots over Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, left, during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, top, lands on top of Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison during the second half of their NCAA Final Four championship game Monday, April 7, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, top, lands on top of Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison during the second half of their NCAA Final Four championship game Monday, April 7, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright celebrates after his team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) leaves the court as Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright (11) celebrates after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut won 60-54. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Arlington, Texas — No conference wanted them. Several teammates and their coach left them. The NCAA wouldn’t have them.

UConn won it all anyway.

Shabazz Napier turned in another all-court masterpiece Monday night to lift the Huskies to a 60-54 win over Kentucky’s freshmen and a national title hardly anyone saw coming.

Napier had 22 points, six rebounds and three assists, and his partner in defensive lock-down, Ryan Boatright, finished with 14 points.

UConn (32-8) never trailed. The Huskies led by as many as 15 in the first half and watched the Wildcats (29-11) trim the deficit to one with 8:13 left. But Aaron Harrison, Kentucky’s big-moment shooter in the last three games, missed a 3-pointer from the left corner that would’ve given the ‘Cats the lead. Kentucky never got closer.

One key difference in a six-point loss: Kentucky’s 11 missed free throws — a flashback of sorts for coach John Calipari, whose Memphis team blew a late lead against Kansas after missing multiple free throws in the 2008 final.

The Wildcats went 13-for-24 from the charity stripe. UConn went 10-for-10, and when Lasan Kromah made his last two with 25.1 seconds left for a six-point margin, the celebration was on.

In all, Calipari’s One and Doners got outdone by a more fundamentally sound, more-seasoned group that came into this tournament a seventh-seeded afterthought but walked away with the program’s fourth national title since 1999. They were the highest seed to win it all since Rollie Massimino’s eighth-seeded Villanova squad in 1985.

Napier and Boatright now go down with Kemba Walker, Emeka Okafor and all those other UConn champs of years past. This adds to the school’s titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011.

This one was, by far, the most unexpected.

A short year ago, UConn was playing its first season in the new American Athletic Conference after being booted from the Big East and not welcomed by any of the so-called power conferences.

Longtime coach Jim Calhoun left because of health problems. And most damaging — the NCAA made the Huskies sit out of last year’s March Madness because of grade problems, which triggered an exodus of five key players to the NBA or other schools.

Napier stuck around. So did Boatright. And Calhoun’s replacement, Kevin Ollie, figured out how to get the most out of their grit and court sense.

They were one step ahead of Kentucky all night, holding off furious rally after furious rally.

Kentucky’s biggest push started when James Young (20 points, seven rebounds) posterized Amida Brimah with a monster dunk to start a three-point play and trigger an 8-0 run.

In the middle of that, Boatright, who shut down Harrison’s twin brother, Andrew, most of the night, twisted his left ankle while receiving an innocuous-looking pass from Napier. He called a timeout. Got it worked on and came back out.

Napier and Niels Giffey made 3s on UConn’s next two possessions, and suddenly, that one-point lead was back up to five — comfortable by this tournament’s standards.