Sports

Season's last game: Connecticut and Kentucky with national championship at stake

  • Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie and Kentucky head coach John Calipari talk during a television interview for the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut plays Kentucky in the championship game on Monday, April 7. 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie and Kentucky head coach John Calipari talk during a television interview for the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut plays Kentucky in the championship game on Monday, April 7. 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

  • Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie and Kentucky head coach John Calipari talk during a television interview for the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut plays Kentucky in the championship game on Monday, April 7. 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie and Kentucky head coach John Calipari talk during a television interview for the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut plays Kentucky in the championship game on Monday, April 7. 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

  • Strength coach Travis Illian gives Connecticut's Kentan Facey a massage before practice for the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut plays Kentucky in the championship game on Monday, April 7. 2014. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Strength coach Travis Illian gives Connecticut's Kentan Facey a massage before practice for the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Connecticut plays Kentucky in the championship game on Monday, April 7. 2014. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)  (The Associated Press)

Connecticut and Kentucky couldn't have met in last year's championship game and few people gave them a chance to be in this year's.

But they are.

Seventh-seeded Connecticut and eighth-seeded Kentucky meet Monday night in the NCAA championship game.

Neither was around in last year's postseason — Connecticut because of a tournament ban over academic issues; Kentucky because it didn't make the field.

They both have made their presence felt this year on the way to an unlikely title game.

Connecticut (31-8) has brought defense to the forefront in a five-game run that has the Huskies within 40 minutes of their fourth national championship.

Kentucky has used late game heroics from Aaron Harrison, one of five freshmen starting for the Wildcats (29-10), who are looking for title No. 9.