ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas-Colorado. New Mexico-Gonzaga. Oregon-Memphis
Wait -- what?
That seemingly random list of imaginary matchups is, in fact, a sampling of the possible No. 7 vs. No. 8 national title matchups in the 2014 NCAA tournament bracket. They are, strictly based on tournament seeding, the equivalent of what we'll see in Monday night, when No. 7 UConn faces No. 8 Kentucky with the national title on the line.
That's where the similarities stop.
Save the seeds next to their names, absolutely nothing feels out of place about Monday night's season finale. Connecticut won the national title in 2011; Kentucky won it in 2012. Both programs are household names. Both teams have a wealth of talent. And both teams have outplayed -- not just upset, but genuinely outplayed -- respective handfuls of national title contenders. Kentucky worked through Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin; UConn beat Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan State, and Florida.
There were fair reasons why each team was seeded where it was at the tourney's outset. Kentucky lost 10 games, and often looked lukewarm on the whole idea of college basketball in doing so. Louisville drilled UConn 81-48 in the final game of the regular season. Only now, with the benefit of hindsight, do those seeds look silly.
Either way, here we are: No. 7 UConn vs. No. 8 Kentucky at 8:10 p.m. CT AT&T Stadium on Monday night. It's simultaneously the strangest and the most fathomable national title matchup in years. It sounds weird and right at the same time. And it should be a lot of fun.
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