The Wizard of Shabazz Is Kemba Walking All The Way To The National Championship Game

1) After Florida surged ahead to a 16-4 lead, their offense went narcoleptic and only scored six points over the final 8:47. They slumped offensively from time to time during the season, but we hadn’t seen it since the final minutes of their harrowing SEC Championship victory over Kentucky. If Gatorade had a smelling salt flavor, Billy Donovan could have used it, even if it did leave them slightly parched.

2) Florida switched to a half court 1-3-1 and forced a pair of turnovers midway through the second half that prompted a run led by Patric Young. Young scored four of Florida’s six unanswered points.

Napier finally ended the run with a Montana to Dwight Clark pass to DeAndre Daniels who caught it with outstretched arms and in one motion laid it off the backboard. Prather responded with a basket and a foul, which he converted to pull Florida within three.

3) Shabazz Napier is conjuring up so many memories of Kemba Walker's 2011 tournament that the Kemba to Napier name dropping ratio is 1:1, however, Walker hasn’t scored a single point in this tournament. DeAndre Daniels has emerged as the sidekick and Ryan Boatright’s been demoted to butler. Florida’s defense couldn’t solve the DeAndre Daniels equation. On multiple occasions, Napier found Daniels over the top of the defense when Florida switched to the 1-3-1 defense. DeAndre Daniels finished with a 20/10 double-double and was an absolute monster down the stretch against a defense that was touted as the nation’s best for much of the season. Ryan Boatright also did a number on Wilbekin defensively.

4) Scottie Wilbekin was a non-factor. He’s been stripped by Napier at the top of the key, can’t beat his counterpart of the dribble and has looked outmatched. The ballyhooed point guard matchup was more like a first round TKO.  Wilbekin scored just four points, shot 2 of 9 from the field and had just one assist.

Was that Shabazz Napier out there Kemba Walking all over Florida or the Bobcats point guard pulling the wool over our heads with a Talented Mr. Ripley-like deception?  While Wilbekin was being taken back to school for midterms by Napier, UConn’s starter point guard held another basketball clinic. Napier’s played DeAndre Kane, Keith Appling and Wilbekin and served each of them pancakes in victory.

5) Florida found their scoring touch in the paint, but it was out of necessity. They shot 11 percent from behind the arc against UConn, which shot 5 of 13 from outside. Kevin Ollie matched wits against Billy Donovan and didn’t give up an inch. UConn made all the correct adjustments including going small allowing them to get out in transition, reverting back to a bigger lineup when needed and switching to a guard heavy lineup when the 1-3-1 began giving the Huskies fits.

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