The UConn Huskies defeated the Butler Bulldogs 53-41 in an ugly basketball game. At halftime many weren’t sure that either team would get 50 points over the course of the game. This game has to be one of the ugliest National Championship ever played. I personally enjoyed the game. It was a gritty game and personally I like that. In the end though UConn was just too big for Butler.
Butler came into the game essentially undersized in every position on the floor. While this has never stopped them from winning before, tonight it was a pretty big problem. Butler could not get into the paint at all and when they did the didn’t score there. On the defensive end of the floor Butler was not able to stop Connecticut’s big men. UConn’s Alex Oriakhi had a good game scoring 11 points on an efficient 5 of 6 shooting night. There were times when Butler wanted to go down low to Matt Howard or Andrew Smith but they couldn’t get anything to go down. Furthermore on a number of possessions Oriakhi flat out rejected anything that came inside. UConn out scored Butler a whopping 26-2 in the paint. To put an exclamation mark on their complete and utter domination in the paint UConn ended the game 10 blocks.
The only reason why Butler was in the game was because of their shooting from beyond the arc. That’s not to say that the shooting was any good. They simply attempted more points from three point land. UConn shot 9.1% from the three point line. They were 1-11. Butler on the other hand hit 9 three pointers . . . out of 33 attempts! Butler denied any kind of entry in the paint was relegated to being a jump shooting team. Which was for Butler a bad night made worse. They shot 18.8% percent overall from the field. That is not a mistake or a typo. They were a devastating 12 of 64 shooting. It really is unbelievable when you think about it. It was a bad night to be a Bulldog.
I was thinking of who MVP of the game should be around halftime but no one person really stood out. In the second half however a challenger appeared. His name was Jeremy Lamb. Jeremy shot 4 of 8 from the field and scored 12 points and he did this all in the second half. Lamb single handedly helped UConn pull away from Butler. When it seemed that no one else could make a shot Jeremy Lamb showed up and he did so in a big way.
Notables: Kemba Walker shot 5 of 19 from the field to score 16 points. Not an impressive not to be sure but since nobody was shooting the lights out it wasn’t too bad. UConn’s Roscoe Smith added 4 blocked shots to the defensive effort. Matt Howard was 1 of 13 from the field and he scored 7 points. He had an awful night out there. Shelvin Mack was 4 of 15 from the field. He also pulled down 9 rebounds in the loss.
Congratulations UConn. You did it.