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A great night for UConn, a bad night for basketball

POSTED April 05, 2011
BY Patrick Tiscia
Twitter: @PatrickTiscia

OK, let’s get right to it. Congrats to the UConn men’s basketball team.

The Huskies’ month of March/four days of April will go down in sports history as one of the more shocking championship runs ever.

The five wins in the Big East Tournament followed by six more in the NCAA Tournament is something the UConn fan base will be able to cherish for the rest of their lives. I hope the fans enjoy it, because while more titles may be in the program’s future, the odds of another unexpected championship like this one is slimmer than most super models.

Winning a championship when not expected is always more fun for those involved than one when the team is a heavy favorite. UConn fans should wear those $27.99 championship shirts proud.

As for the game, I hope it did not set the game of basketball back 50 years. Butler’s 18 percent shooting from the field ranks with the worst championship game/series performances of all-time, from Bob Stanley’s 10th inning in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series to John Starks’ 2-of-18 in Game 6 of the 1994 NBA Finals.

To put this in a little perspective, the dreadful 2010 Mets got a hit in 25 percent of their at-bats and somehow won nearly 49 percent of their games with that hideous roster. (Maybe Jerry Manuel isn’t as bad a manager as we thought. Another story for another day…)

Eighteen percent. Over 17 hours later, I still can’t get over that number.

Sure, UConn’s defense was fantastic, but that does not excuse how terrible Butler was. Just look at these numbers: 12-of-64 from the field (only two two-pointers), 3-of-31 from three, only two points in the paint and its best player Matt Howard finishing a disastrous 1-of-13.

I’m willing to bet if you can use a time machine and grab 1993 Michael Jordan out of it, he’d finish with a better shooting percentage blindfolded.

Butler’s was simply that pathetic. Locally, last night will be remembered as one of the great nights in the state’s sports history. Unfortunately, on the national level, this game will be remembered for a long time, but for all the wrong reasons thanks to Butler.

For UConn, they have nothing to apologize for, though. In the record books, style points are not recorded. A champion is a champion.

And the Huskies, in a year where a Sweet 16 appearance would be considered a major success, are now on top of the college basketball world.

Now excuse me while I try to avoid getting hit by another Butler clank off the rim.

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