UConn Beats Butler for NCAA Championship, 53-41 by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

Kemba Walker led the University of Connecticut Huskies (32-9) to victory last night in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship over the Butler University Bulldogs(28-10), 53-41.
The Huskies trailed the Bulldogs 22-19 at halftime and all of the momentum appeared to be with Butler, after a three pointer by Shelvin Mack with one second left ended the half. After a three pointer by Chase Stigall gave the Bulldogs a 25-19 lead with 19:40 left in the second half, the Huskies shook off a sluggish first half by going on a spectacular 22-3 run to take a 41-28 lead with 7:33 left in the game on a jumper by Alex Oriakhi.  Freshman Jeremy Lamb scored 11 of the 22 during that run, Walker 5, and Alex Oriakhi 4.
University of Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun talked about the defensive nature of the game. “Butler really plays defense. 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.”
Walker talked about the defense as well.  “Every time we play hard, great things always happen to us.”
The Bulldogs shot just 12-64 for the game, or 18.8%.  Even worse, they were 3-31 from inside the three-point arc, or 9.7%.  The Huskies blocked 10 shots, including four apiece by Oriakhi and Roscoe Smith.
Butler guard Ronald Nored compared this loss to last year’s against Duke.  “In my opinion, this one feels a little worse.  Last year I was more shocked. This year is pretty tough.”  Butler’s Mack credited the Connecticut defense.  “They’re very athletic.  They would contest shots that people normally wouldn’t be able to contest.”
Connecticut head coach Calhoun, at age 68, twice the age of his counterpart Butler head coach Brad Stevens, became the oldest coach to win the NCAA championship. He also joins a unique coaching fraternity with his third NCAA Men’s Championship, joining John Wooden(10), Adolph Rupp(4) Mike Krzyzewski(4)and Bob Knight(3) as the only coaches with three or more championships.
Head coach Calhoun reflected on it.  “My dad told me something a long time ago: You’re known by the company you keep.  That’s awfully sweet company.”

About RazzandJazzSports

The Razz and Jazz Sports Blog was created by Marc "Razz" Rasbury and Derrel "Jazz" Johnson to create fresh opinions on New York Sports and beyond from two credentialed members of the media.
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2 Responses to UConn Beats Butler for NCAA Championship, 53-41 by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

  1. Al M says:

    Thumbs up to Uconn. Critics are blasting their glory with “It’s the worst game in history”. Uconn. are true champs. Remember they took the long hard route. Started 5 tough Big East tournament games. A gruelling schedule. Having an off game in the Finals and win. I have no problem with that.

  2. Shuba Lyuba says:

    I am proud of the character of the Butler players. They played as a team and went down as a team. They pulled together until the final buzzer, believing that one of them would get the ball to fall in. No recrimination, showboating, pouting, accusations. Who among us would play to the final second and not give up on our teammates? Not many–that’s where the character is. Describing something as ugly only says that many fans love the dazzle–and don’t want to see the work and commitment and guts of playing one’s heart out, together, despite the possibility of falling short.

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