Harrison lifted his team to a victory over Wisconsin Saturday with a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left. He also sank a game-winning shot in the final seconds of a win over Michigan in the regional final and had the game-winning shot with under a minute left against Louisville.
On Monday night, Harrison and Kentucky will face UConn for the national championship.
"He's a clutch player, as you can tell in three games, wanting to take that shot," Napier said. "Like I always said, the biggest thing about that is if you're willing to take it. A lot of guys shy away from the moment, and he's not one of those guys."
The challenge for UConn is keep the ball out of Harrison's hand if the game is in the balance. UConn's perimeter defense has been strong throughout the tournament and it will need to be tight if the game is close late.
"Hopefully it doesn't come down to his shot, and if it does, we're going to make sure that we move him away from that left side where he's been knocking down that shot consistently," Napier said. "So he's got that clutch gene that everyone's been talking about."
Harrison's theatrics have elevated him to cult status in Kentucky. After all, his three-pointer with 39 seconds left lifted the Wildcats over state rival and defending champion Louisville in a 74-69 Midwest Regional semifinal game.
His image was elevated when he broke a tie with a three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in a 75-72 win over Michigan. And Saturday night's shot raised his profile even more.
"It's just the best feeling in the world," Harrison said. "Of course everyone knows that when you're a kid that you always dream of hitting the game-winning shot, so it's just unreal to actually be able to do that in a big-time game."
After upsetting No. 1 ranked Florida Saturday night, UConn players and coaches were wound up. Ollie said he didn't sleep much, instead watching the Kentucky-Wisconsin game. He got a text message from SMU coach Larry Brown, a mentor, telling him to have fun.
"I love him to death," Ollie said. "I have had an opportunity to talk to him [Sunday morning] and he just gave me some sound advice. Have fun, don't make it complicated."
DeAndre Daniels said he ate chicken tacos at the team hotel and said he couldn't sleep. He estimated he had 168 text messages.
NCAA Boss Speaks
NCAA President Mark Emmert was asked about the National Labor Relations Board ruling that Northwestern football players can unionize because they technically qualify as employees. "To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union employee model to address the challenges that do exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems," Emmert said. "To convert to a unionized employee model is essentially to throw away the entire collegiate model for athletics. You can't split that one in two. You're either a student at a university playing your sports or you're an employee of that university." … Emmert, a former UConn administrator, was asked about watching a team banned from the NCAA Tournament last season competing for a title this year. "I'm personally very pleased at it," Emmert said. "The reality is, is that [UConn] as we all know, had really abysmal APR performance for a consistent period of time. They had to achieve, in relatively short order, essentially a 1,000 APR, perfect APR score. … And they have done it. It's actually very impressive." … There was a large contingent of former UConn basketball players at the game Saturday night, including Caron Butler, Hasheem Thabeet, Jeremy Lamb, Richard Hamilton and Taliek Brown. Kemba Walker, who missed Saturday's game because the Charlotte Bobcats were playing, said he will be at the game Monday. There are no NBA games Monday night, so expect other ex-Huskies to be at the stadium. … Former coach Jim Calhoun said UConn players have noticed a lack of respect for the Huskies among national pundits. "I said, 'You've got them right where you want them,'" Calhoun said. "It's a great role. Remember , people said you can't win five games in five days. Really? We did. Then we won six more after. My point being, it's not a bad role to play."
Cousy Award To Napier
Chalk up another award for Napier, who won the Bob Cousy Award that goes to the top point guard in the nation. "It is an honor for us to award such a worthy athlete of this prestigious award," Cousy said in a statement released by the Hall. The other finalists were Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Aaron Craft of Ohio State, Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, Marcus Page of North Carolina and Fred VanVleet of Wichita State. … Omar Calhoun, like DeAndre Daniels, seriously considered Kentucky before committing to UConn. He was asked if the Huskies were talking about "level five," which is Ollie's code for championship intensity. "I wouldn't be surprised if we come up with a level six," he said, "since it's the last game."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun