Butler vs. UConn Was the Worst NCAA Final Since the Invention of the Television
Was that a blacksmith shop getting ready for the Indiana Horseshoe Tossing Championship or a basketball game?
Butler, Butler, Butler…
You draw us in and make us love you with your boyish grins, your scrappy style and your mid-major resume.
So what if you were 14-9 in February after losing to Youngstown State? We jumped on the Bulldog bandwagon last year, and we stayed there cheering voraciously through this latest dance.
And how did you repay us for our April love for David vs. the dreaded Big (L)East’s Goliath?
You set the game of college basketball back 70 years, that’s how.
In 40 minutes, Butler scored 41 points—that’s 1.025 points per minute. Since the 1940s, teams have consistently scored more than one point per minute with the last NCAA championship game failing to reach the mark being Wisconsin’s 39-34 victory over Washington State in 1941.
Yes, back when a whole bunch of good hoopsters were in military uniforms in Europe and the Far East getting shot at, not taking shots.
So who was to blame for this awful display of hoops? How about Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Florida, Notre Dame, San Diego State, BYU, Purdue, Kentucky and Syracuse to name twelve accomplices.
Here are a few low lights just in case you weren’t paying attention or you were on a plane or you were put to sleep by the consistent clank, clank, clank or you are the luckiest person on the planet earth and you simply forgot to watch this pukefest excuse for a championship game.
Butler shot 18.8 percent on 12-of-64 shooting. Worst ever in a NCAA final, and it broke the record from that awful Wisconsin v. Wash State game noted above.
Connecticut (32-9) outscored Butler by an unthinkable 26-2 in the paint.
UConn shot a miserable 34.5 percent from the field and still won by 12 points. The Huskies were 1-for-11 from behind the arc.
The Bulldogs (28-10) went a mind-numbing 13 minutes, 26 seconds in the second half making only one field goal. They made 3-of-31 two-point attempts.
The tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Jeremy Lamb, socred a whopping 12 points—mind you in point-a-minute basketball 12 points is a lot…sort of.
Butler’s biggest stars, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack were ice cold. Howard went 1-for-13, and Mack went 4-for-15.
Butler’s 41 points were 10 points fewer than the worst showing in the shot-clock era in a championship game. Michigan scored 51 in a loss to Duke in 1992.
Butler’s 12 field goals were the second fewest in a championship game—three more than Oklahoma made way back in 1949.
The Bulldogs shot 16.2 percent in the second half on 6-of-37 shooting.
Butler fast break points = 0. Bench points = 2.
OK, Connecticut deserves some credit for “scrapping, battling, clawing – and finding a way” to win. End of praise.
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