After one of the most exciting NCAA Tournaments in recent memory, it was only fitting that the Championship was full of record-setting performances. Only these weren’t the records the NCAA was hoping to set.
The Butler Bulldogs returned to the NCAA Championship for the second year in a row, which in itself is pretty incredible considering how small of a school Butler is. Once again Butler was up against a perennial powerhouse school with a Hall of Fame coach. Last year’s championship was a thrilling game that literally was decided on the last play of the game. This year, the game would not even come close to that.
The first half of the game was arguably the worst half of basketball in the the entire tournament. It ended with Butler in the lead 22-19, thanks to a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Shelvin Mack. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Butler didn’t score a point inside the paint and both teams missed some easy shots that should have been made.
The second half was much better if you were a Connecticut Huskies fan, but much worse if you were a Butler fan. Butler continued to miss shots and turn the ball over on the offensive end. They didn’t score a point in the paint until the 6:12 remaining mark. Butler then inexplicably switched to a zone defense which Uconn picked apart and pulled away.
Butler will probably never want to talk about this game again, it was one of the worst shooting performances I have ever seen at any level of basketball. I mean even some Biddy Ball teams shoot better than 18% in a game.
The one thing the NCAA has going for it after this game is all the records that the game produced:
- The final score of 53-41 was the lowest scoring Championship game
- Butler’s 18.8% field goal percentage was the worst in Championship history
- Uconn tied the record for most blocks in a Championship game with 10
- Jim Calhoun became the oldest coach (68) to win the Championship
- Calhoun was also the fifth coach in history to win three Championships
At least 60% of those records are positive…
[Photo Credit: AP Photo via NewsObserver.com]