By Brandon Eastman Posted April 20, 2011
A tournament that began with a new twist, the First Four, on Tuesday, March 15 had so much promise, and people were excited about 67 great games. These people almost got what they wanted, they were entertained with down-to-the-wire games in the first 64 games of the tournament (for the most part). However, these people were left sorely disappointed after the most important college basketball games of the season.
Through all the upsets in the NCAA Tournament, the tournament favorites advanced through the first two rounds virtually unscathed. That’s where the tournament did a complete 180° turn. Some surprising results in the Sweet Sixteen that had some people scratching their heads include; Arizona beating Duke, Butler advancing, Ohio St. losing to the inconsistent Kentucky Wildcats, and controversial tourney team VCU moving on to the last eight.
Brackets throughout the nation were already screwed up, so what’re a few more surprises, right? Well, I don’t know anyone who had a Final Four of Butler, VCU, Kentucky, and UConn. And quite frankly, this is when a lot of people were disappointed that the top seeds didn’t step up to the plate and play to their capability. Were we left at the Final Four with some good Cinderella stories? Sure. Unfortunately, this also meant that viewers of those games were left utterly disappointed through a few poorly executed games, culminating in quite possibly the worst National Championship (UConn vs. Butler) game that’s ever been played.
The close nature of this game can be dismissed as a result of the absolutely horrid shooting by both teams. Butler, who many favored to win this game, shot only 18.8% while making only 12 shots throughout the course of this 40-minute game. UConn somewhat redeemed themselves, and their worst half of basketball of the season, in the 2nd half when they lit up the scoreboard with a whole 34 points to pull out the sloppy victory with an ugly score of 53-41.
I guess, even with all the criticism, congratulations are in order for all four of the teams who were fortunate enough to be handed a trip to Houston, Texas for the Final Four, but especially UConn. They were the tough enough team to take advantage of the mentally fragile teams that were just happy to be there, and that is why the UConn Huskies were crowned the 2011 National Champions.