By Vin Parise
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This Final Four & National Championship will be remembered for years to come for many reasons. The mid-major battle of VCU and Butler in the semifinals, the classic showdown of Calipari and Calhoun struggling to make it to another Monday night and the fact that Butler miraculously made it to back to back championship games.
And fittingly, Kemba Walker and the Huskies won the crown and cemented Jim Calhoun as a coaching legend and Walker as one of the tournament’s all time shining stars. If you remember, UConn lost 4 out of their last 5 in Big East play and nobody had the Huskies as a favorite in New York for the Big East Tournament. But since Wednesday March 8th’s game vs DePaul, UConn won 11 games in a row between both post season tournaments.
- Louisville – Big East Championship
- San Diego State
- Butler – National Championship
Not bad for the 9th place Big East team who had to get hot at the end to earn their #3 seed.
I hope you had the UNDER last night as the Huskies beat Butler 53-41 in an ugly defensive battle. Sure both teams missed a ton of open shots, but it was a pick n roll defensive clinic and credit the defensive pressure for causing the fatigue. And remember, any good coach will tell you that fatigue causes misses. But the numbers from last night’s game are still staggering:
- Butler shot 12 for 64 from the field – 18%
- Butler shot 9 for 33 from three point land – 27%
- UConn shot 19 for 55 from the field – 34%
- UConn shot 1 for 11 from three point land – 9%
But winning ugly is the Big East way and the Huskies executed when they had to and beat up the Bulldogs on the boards.
The 2011 Houston Final Four, a weekend we will remember for a long, long time. Congratulations to the Big East conference and the University of Connecticut.
And be sure to check in tomorrow for 10 Tidbits to give some thought to for the upcoming college hoops off-season.
- Vin Parise