It’s been an ugly first few minutes in the NCAA Championship as the Butler Bulldogs and Connecticut Huskies deal with the nerves of playing on college basketball’s biggest stage. After an early bucket on a scramble play by UConn forward Tyler Olander, both teams struggled, missing plenty of good shots. Butler was finally able to answer after blowing a layup on the fast-break as Chase Stigall recovered to bury a three.
Butler is 1-9 from the field in the early going, with UConn just marginally better at 2-9. Both teams are getting good, uncontested looks from both inside the arc and out, yet are unable to convert. Kemba Walker is 0-4 early for UConn and Shelvin Mack is 0-3 for Butler. It’s been tough sledding for the guards.
We entered the media timeout with our first bit of excitement as Andrew Smith sent a Kemba Walker lay-in attempt into the 10th row with an authoritative swat. With just under 16 minutes to go in the half, UConn trails Butler, 4-3.