By the end of the first half, there was a 50/50 chance that the score at the end of regulation would be 50-50.
What a lot of fans enjoy about college hoops is the effort, the agony and the energy these young players have.
And the errors. No breakaway lay-up is a gimme. No free throw is actually free. No dunk is a sure slam.
It sure was amateur night at the arena for this final. Sure, both teams played good defense, but the shooting was somewhere between abysmal and pathetic.
The dog fight was not such. It was more like puppy play. Before halftime, the game had “hot mess” written all over it. One team just needed to push through, actually make a damn basket or two, and be the lesser of the two pathetic showings of the evening.
Like any reality show with college-aged stars, those who made lesser fools of themselves are the winners.
Here’s an illustration of how poorly these two teams played: Butler made 18.8% of their field goals, while Connecticut made 34.5% of theirs. Those stats are worse than losing ones from the first round of the tournament.
In fact, in a much-needed break from the game, CBS (Connecticut Butler Showdown – one of the few times an “I need to get on TV” acronym for the network poster made sense) took a trip down Jim Calhoun’s memory lane. The network showed a clip from Northeastern losing in the first round under Calhoun, despite shooting 74%… a sharp contrast to the present performance.
UConn undersucked (as opposed to outplayed), but a win is a win is a win. And a championship is even more. Though the finale wasn’t pretty, Connecticut won the Big East in dramatic fashion, and managed to carry that momentum through the dance. It’s impressive to survive like that.
The UConn men showed their women counterparts that they’ll be wearing the long shorts on campus this year.