Many experts were going along with Butler for this game. Right from the start of this tournament I wanted UConn to win it. And they have never failed me. Tonight featured probably the worst statistical game in NCAA Championship game in history, or even in the history of the tournament!

The first half showed how sloppy each team was, as the score was only 22-19, box score that would probably feature for only a quarter! With the seconds winding down, Butler looked like they were on their way to a championship victory after Shelvin Mack drained a three-pointer to beat the buzzer to put Butler up by three at halftime.

But the next 19 or so minutes turned towards the Huskies' way. After Mack put up yet another three-pointer to put Butler up by six, UConn responded by several shots, and soon, were up 41-28. After that, it looks like game over. But Butler looked like they would come back, but the closest they would come after is just 49-41.

And after that, UConn would be celebrating on the floor with a 53-41 victory be crowned as 2011's champs of the NCAA Tournament. UConn proved they weren't completely relied on Kemba Walker, who had 16 points and nine rebounds. If it weren't for the solid defense by center Alex Oriakhi or the performances of Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier, this game would have been a lot closer.

"Every time we play hard, great things always happen to us," Walker said.

A very great thing happened tonight in Houston, as one top dog would be crowned. The bulldog wasn't the top breed in here, as he was too cold for the struggling conditions of the bearing husky. Mack only provided 13 points as Butler only had two points in the paint. Butler could never make a shot. Everything went in-and-out. It was just an atrocious shooting night. Butler only made twelve shots -- out of 64. That is just 18.8 percent of their shots that were in, which is the worst in title history!

It was just a defensive game, something that Jim Calhoun likes.

"Butler really plays defense," Calhoun, who joins the list among legendary coaches like Bob Knight and John Wooden as the only coaches to win at least three or more titles in their NCAA coaching career, said. "I mean, they really play defense. And we really play defense, and I think eventually our quickness and length got to them, but from a purist standpoint, if you really like defense, take a clip of this game."

Calhoun become the oldest coach in history to win an NCAA Championship, at age 68, defeating the team who has a coach half his age in Brad Stevens, who is 34. If this may be correct, but if Butler were to win this, I think Stevens would have been the youngest coach to win it.

Butler made it to the big dance for the second year in a row, but failed to win it. However, they shouldn't be down on themselves, as they went against the odds times many more than what they needed to do last year to make it to the championship. There is no doubt that Butler could have won this thing, but the shots couldn't fall, just like the big one they missed last year on Gordon Hayward's halfcourt heave. If Hayward stayed for another year at Butler, he probably could have led this Bulldog team to a victory.

But it was UConn that got the job done, and what a great season it's been for them.

"They truly were brothers, they truly were trusting in each other, and that was very, very special," Calhoun said. "This group has taken me on a very special journey, better than I could possibly imagine."

"In my opinion, this one feels a little worse," said Butler guard Ronald Nored of which was loss felt worse -- last year's to Duke or this year's. "Last year I was more shocked. This year is pretty tough."

http://www.chron.com/photos/2011/04/04/25834787/260xStory.jpgButler couldn't get it the first time, nor the second. Their haven't gotten to the final chapter of this hopefully happy tale. Third time's could be the charm.

As for UConn, the charm keeps shining on them.

"You see the tears on my face," Walker said. "I have so much joy in me, it's unreal. It's surreal. I'm so happy right now."

Walker was the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. There is no doubt he should be. Ever since his huge buzzer-beater versus Pittsburgh, you know he was going to pull these moves and reek havoc into the tournament.

UConn was just a force on the rebounds, much of the thanks to Oriakhi. Oriakhi committed to play for UConn back in his sophomore year of high school. The 6'9", 240-pound big man wanted to play for Calhoun, and here he was, making key plays for the Huskies. Oriakhi finished with eleven points and eleven rebounds. He played strong defense and kept Matt Howard away from making big plays and clutch shots like he has been doing all tournament.

UConn did a great job by doing that, shutting down Butler's key players in Mack and Howard, as both went for a combined five-of-28 in shooting. Butler could never get the shots to fall. They would hit the back of the rim, go in-and-out, or get their shots blocked, which led to a lonesome two points in the paint, as mentioned before.

"You just hope the shots go in," Butler guard Zach Hahn said. "That's how it's been all tournament. Whenever we needed a big shot, somebody came up with it. I guess we just ran out of steam. Nobody could make 'em."

"They're very athletic," Mack said. "They would contest shots that people normally wouldn't be able to contest."

Butler had so many wide-open looks down low, but none of the shots fell. It was mind-boggling. But UConn had the length favored to them, and boy did they take advantage of it.

"I felt like we kept trying to go back inside," Howard said. "We had quite a few pretty good looks. They just weren't going in."

I credit Butler for the way they have played this year. They really put on a show for people. Listen, don't go too hard on yourselves. As a Hoosier and living probably about 20 miles away from your campus, I am proud of you guys. You guys really revived basketball back into Indiana by how hard you played these last two years. Maybe the third time could in fact just actually be the charm.

Butler has now two key players that could be leaving for the NBA in Mack and Howard. Mack looks to be a late first rounder. Howard has really risen his draft stock if he declares this year. There's no question he could be a second-rounder, or at least be signed by an NBA team and play without being cut if he goes undrafted. Howard has the potential to be a great bench player and be one of those Brian Cardinal guys, which isn't all that bad.

As for Kemba Walker, he'll be in the top-five now thanks to his victory. Hayward was projected a late first-rounder to early second-rounder, but after the championship, he completely rose his stock. Walker is doing the same. And like his draft stock, he rose high in the second half to help UConn win it.

"It was tough shooting in the first half, but in the second half, we stuck with each other," Walker said. "We told each other we were going to make shots, and that's what we did."

UConn, enjoy the rest of the week! You guys did great this year, and a big congrats to you guys! Plus, an extra thanks because you really helped by bracket!

"We were unstoppable," Walker said. "That's why we're national champions. We're the best team in the country."

No doubt you're the best.

Why else are you clipping the nets?


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