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Kevin Ollie could become 1st black coach to win NCAA championship Since 1998

Uconn and Kentucky will meet on Monday night in the NCAA championship game. If Kevin Ollie’s Uconn team wins, it will be the first time a black coach won the big game since Tubby Smith led the Kentucky Wildcats to the championship in 1998.

On this date in 1984 John Thompson, of Georgetown University, became the first Black coach to win the NCAA basketball tournament. That evening Georgetown beat Houston in the NCAA final, 84-75, to win its only national championship.

Uconn led by the half and never relinquished its lead. Florida only lost three games during the season and two of the losses were to Ollie’s Uconn.

In the second game of the Final Four, Kentucky defeated the Wisconsin Badgers by a score of 74-73 after Aaron Harrison hit a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left in regulation.

Kevin Ollie led the Uconn Huskies to a championship matchup against the Kentucky Wildcats. The Huskies upset the Florida Gators in the Final Four by a score of 63-53.

Undrafted after playing four years at UConn, where he roomed with Ray Allen and helped the Huskies to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in his final two years, he was signed and waived during training camp with Golden State in 1995 and then kicked around the CBA before finally catching on with Dallas in 1997-98. That was the first of 11 teams he played for in his 13-year NBA career.

Ollie's arrival coincided with that of rookie LeBron James, and Ollie became a mentor to the young James, who tweeted his support last week: ''Wanna send a HUGE S/O to my former teammate Kevin Ollie and UCONN on advancing to the Elite 8. Keep it going K.O.''

Now, former coaches and teammates are rooting for Ollie, in his second season as head coach.

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