Jim Calhoun and the Connecticut basketball team left 80-degree weather and returned to a cold rain, and it never felt so good.
The old guy can still teach. After winning his third NCAA championship, Jim Calhoun was as gracious as could be, especially for a guy crossing the threshold into greatness.
Thousands of UConn students stormed the court at Gampel Pavilion on Monday night as if the Huskies had just won the NCAA championship at home. They then streamed out of the arena onto Stadium and Hillside Roads for a street party that lasted into the early morning.
Kemba Walker scored 16 points and Connecticut beat Butler 53-41 on Monday night to give Jim Calhoun his third national championship, something only four other coaches have done.
Simply, it’s easy to root for Butler. At least it is for me. UConn is not NYC-North, but rather Boston-Lite. If you’re a native New Yorker then you’re born with the mean, territorial gene, predisposed to hate all things New England.
Butler and Connecticut will meet Monday night — the eighth-seeded Bulldogs trying to finish the deal after coming oh-so-close last season and the third-seeded Huskies, led by Kemba Walker, going for their 11th straight victory after a regular season that foreshadowed none of this.
Kemba Walker provides the Bulldogs with a challenge they have yet to face during their two-year run through the bracket — a superstar. Shutting him down is almost an impossible task. Slowing him down isn’t much easier.
When Jim Calhoun was 28 and just gaining a foothold in coaching, he figured he already had all the answers. “Now I’m 68,” Calhoun said Sunday, “and I have a lot of questions.”
Win or lose in Monday night’s NCAA championship game against Butler, Walker has earned single-name status up there with UConn icons Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Caron Butler and Emeka Okafor after one of the best individual seasons in college hoops history.
Coach Brad Stevens says his team respects Walker but can’t focus too much attention on him because it could leave room for other UConn players to get loose.
Kemba Walker scored 18 points Saturday night to help Connecticut keep its remarkable postseason run going with a
56-55 victory over Kentucky that placed the Huskies one win away from their third, and most improbable, NCAA title.
The University of Connecticut has become the first school to send a football team to a BCS bowl game and both its basketball programs to the Final Four in the same academic year.
The upcoming 2011 Final Four will be remembered for ages. Here are some post game thoughts from a dejected Roy Williams and an emotionally drained John Calipari last night in Newark.
Las Vegas casinos have tabbed Kentucky the latest favorite — just beating out UConn — in an NCAA tournament full of upsets, and are hoping that VCU ends its improbable run without a title.
All the top seeds have gone home, all the “smart money” is down the tubes and millions of brackets are in the trash. Even in the unpredictable world of March Madness, this is a Final Four nobody could have imagined.