Any thoughts of Butler being a one-year wonder were put to bed on Saturday night as the Bulldogs earned a spot in the NCAA Championship Game for the second-straight year with a 70-62 win over fellow mid-major VCU. The Bulldogs have been outstanding in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, working their way through the bracket while recapturing some of that leftover magic from the previous season. And on Monday, Butler will try to erase the sting of losing to Duke by inches in the National Championship Game.
The road to the Final Four was tougher for Butler this year as the Bulldogs came from the No. 8 seed line to advance through the bracket. In the first round, the Bulldogs survived a test from No. 9 seed Old Dominion, and were rewarded with a matchup against No. 1 seed Pittsburgh. But Butler prevailed again after a wild final two seconds that saw two fouls crazy fouls, the last of which allowed Matt Howard to seal a 71-70 win at the free throw line.
In the Sweet Sixteen, Butler took care of No. 4 seed Wisconsin, setting up a matchup with Florida for a spot in the Final Four. Butler passed the test with a 61-54 win before knocking the Gators off in overtime, 74-71.
At this point, it shouldn't be a surprise to see Brad Steven's Bulldogs in the National Championship, but it hasn't been easy for Butler. In a season filled with trials and tribulations, the Bulldogs survived and advanced, doing what was necessary to make it back for a shot at redemption.
On Monday night, Butler will get that shot as it faces UConn in the NCAA Championship game on CBS. Check out a look back at Saturday's results below, and in our Final Four scores StoryStream. Be sure to grab a 2011 NCAA Tournament printable bracket from SB Nation to get caught up on the latest from March Madness.
No. 8 Butler Bulldogs def. No. 11 VCU Rams, 70-62
No. 3 Connecticut Huskies def. No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats, 56-55
Butler Bulldogs vs. UConn on Monday