It’s all over in Houston and the Connecticut Huskies are the 2011 NCAA Tournament champions. The Butler Bulldogs were never able to get on track as they struggled from the field all game long. With Butler struggling, UConn was able to take advantage, surging to the lead in the second half to secure a 53-41 win to take home the title.
The win caps one of the greater runs you’ll ever see in college basketball as UConn won the Big East Tournament by taking five games in five days before moving on to win the NCAA Tournament. When it was all over, the Huskies had 11 wins in just under a month, including the biggest prize of them all: A third championship for head coach Jim Calhoun.
Butler finished the game just 12-64 from the field, an 18.8 percent clip. The Bulldogs were just 3-31 from inside the arc, thanks to UConn’s swarming defense in the paint and an inability to find the range from anywhere on the floor. The shooting performance was the worst in NCAA Tournament Championship history.
Shelvin Mack scored a team-high 13 points, with Chase Stigall adding nine and Matt Howard adding seven. But with nobody able to knock down a shot, the Bulldogs were powerless to stop UConn as it surged into the lead and kept Butler at-bay in the second half.
Kemba Walker capped an outstanding month with a game-high 16 points for UConn. Alex Oriakhi had a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb was also in double-figures with 11 points.
The UConn Huskies are your new NCAA champions, but Butler has nothing to hang its head about. For the second-straight year, the Bulldogs made it to the NCAA Championship Game against all odds, crashing a party traditionally held for the major conferences. Despite the loss, it’s been a truly remarkable two-year run for Brad Stevens, who has built something special at Butler.