Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Butler's Cinderella run finally ended, as the UConn Huskies knocked off the Bulldogs, 53-41. For the second straight season, Butler was able to crash the title game and face off against one of college basketball's dominant programs. Once again, Butler wasn't quite good enough to win it all and cap what would have been possibly the most surprising tournament championship ever.
Give credit to UConn for the win and surviving a poor shooting night from superstar Kemba Walker, however this game will be remembered for Butler's horrendous offensive effort. The Bulldog's shot 18% from the floor. 18%! This is easily the worst shooting performance in title game history, and allowed UConn to pretty much coast to a win in the second half despite playing average ball.
You can't play the "Butler was overwhelmed by the moment" card, because this team has played in several big games in the past two years, including last year's title game. The reality was UConn was the team with top talent, the team from the big conference, while Butler was a good mid-major on an unbelievable run. They ran out of steam at the wrong time, but it was still a great season. The Bulldogs have taught us that having experienced players and good coaching can take you into April, no matter what the name on the jersey says.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
After two thrilling Final 4 games, the NCAA national title game is set. The Butler Bulldogs continue their second consecutive Cinderella run, as they will face off against the UConn Huskies. The championship game will take place tomorrow night at 8:23.
To get to the title game, Butler had to play a rare role as the favorite against the upstart VCU rams. The Bulldogs were able to overcome several early deficits and wear down the Rams in the second half en route to a 70-62 victory. Butler now has another chance at a national title, a ridiculous feat for a small school that entered this year's tournament as an 8 seed. After coming up just short last year against Duke, the Bulldogs get one more chance to complete one of the most memorable runs in NCAA history.
Standing in Butler's way are the UConn Huskies and the dangerous Kemba Walker. UConn held on to beat Kentucky, 56-55, and now have an opportunity to hand coach Jim Calhoun his third national title. Walker is good enough for UConn to beat anybody, and if he heats up in the title game, Butler will be in trouble. The championship game should be a thrilling end to what has been one of the wildest and most unpredictable NCAA tournaments ever.
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