UConn point guard Shabazz Napier was the unquestioned leader of a team that made NCAA tournament history Monday. And moments after Connecticut beat Kentucky 60-54 to capture the program's fourth national championship, Napier made it clear what provided him and his teammates the motivation necessary to become the first No. 7 seed win it all. When asked by CBS Sports' Jim Nantz to describe his emotions, Napier responded, "Honestly. I want to get everyone's attention. Ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at the hungry Huskies," the tourney's Most Outstanding Player said as confetti rained down at AT&T Stadium. "This is what happens when you ban us. Last year, two years, we worked so hard for it, two years …" The microphone was then briefly cut off and the broadcast showed UConn fans celebrating. Nantz resumed the interview to tell Napier he'd been named MOP — but not before Napier called out the NCAA for keeping the program out of last year's Big Dance due to low test scores.
Nothing is routine
Moving to baseball, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton led off Monday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals by hitting what appeared to be a routine single into shallow right field. But the player who finished with a combined 155 stolen bases in the minors in 2012 showed off his wheels and wound up at second with a double. The Cardinals eventually beat the Reds 5-3.
Finally in NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished last in a 43-car field for the first time in seven seasons after a fiery crash on lap 13 at Texas Motor Speedway. He escaped uninjured and apologized to his fans.
That wasn't fun. Sorry 2 the fans of the 88 team. Feel bad for my guys and the 48 team also. Made a mistake there that was costly for every1
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) April 7, 2014