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Thursday, April 7, 2011

CLANG!!! UConn - Butler Misses The Mark On Monday Night

Am I the only one that felt the 2011 Men’s Basketball Final was a dud?  Better yet, allow me to quote Kenny Smith, one of the talking heads on CBS during the Halftime Show, “This is the worse half of basketball I have ever seen in a Men’s Basketball Final Game!”    

Maybe it was just an overload of coverage with CBS, TBS, TNT and RealTV covering every game…perhaps it was the all upsets starting with Morehead State a 13th seed defeating Rick Pitino’s Cardinals of Louisville seeded #4 (Quickly, where is Morehead State located?  I still don’t know!), or maybe there was just too much Charles Barkley!   Whatever it was, I just wasn’t feeling it. 

I know I’m probably alone in this feeling, afterall, even though Butler left their jump shot in the locker room, their 3-point shot in the bus, and their layup back at the hotel,  shooting a pathetic 18% from the field (an NCAA Final record for shooting futility),  there were actually three NCAA Final games in the last 13 years that had lower television ratings – the 2006 Florida vs UCLA title game, the 2004 Connecticut – Georgia Tech final, and the 2009 North Carolina vs. Michigan State title game. 

Sure, you could blame the poor shooting on the fact that game was played in Houston Texans’ Reliant Stadium, and therefore, the lack of a backdrop caused the Butler team to shoot blanks all night long – Butler made only THREE 2 point baskets all night long.  Or maybe you want to give credit to the UConn  defense that blocked 10 shots and had a hand in the face of the Butler offense…okay, hold it…lets face facts, the Butler offense was horrible.  It wasn’t the lighting or the backdrop; it wasn’t the UConn team was more athletic and active on defense – the Butler offense was simply BAD!

Lets look at the Butler offense.  Senior Matt Howard was 1 for 13.  Guard Shelvin Mack, Butler’s best offensive weapon was 4 for 15.  Center Andrew Smith was 2 for 9, and those 9 shots came within 5 feet of the basket!  Guard Shawn Vanzant was 2 for 10.  The bench didn’t make a single field goal. They were 12 of 64 from the field.  Heck, former UCLA legend Bill Walton once scored 44 points in a Championship Game – Team Walton would have beaten Butler by THREE on Monday night.  

I’ll admit I was a little burnt out at the end of the NCAA Tournament this year and the Final Game just didn’t hold my attention.  It maybe easy to blame it on the poor play of both teams – UConn only shot 34.5% from field – but whatever it was, the game just didn’t do it for me this year.   Maybe next year, they shouldn’t put it up against “Dancing With The Stars.”

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