the university of connecticut defeated the university of butler 53-41 to win the 2011 ncaa title. uconn coach jim calhoun joins john wooden, adolph rupp, mike kryzezwski & bobby knight as the only coaches to win three or more championships. at age 68, calhoun becomes the oldest coach to win the ncaa tournament. huskies all-american point guard, bob cousy award winner & naismith finalist kemba walker was named the final four's most outstanding player.
the game was played in front of a record crowd, over 75,000 fans, in houston. uconn's defense was brilliant, as they blocked 10 shots & held butler to an abysmal 18.8 field goal percentage - the worst in an ncaa final in 70 years. the bulldogs' best players mack howard & shelvin mack were a combined 5 for 23 shooting from the perimeter. furthermore, butler had no points in the paint during the entire game.
walker, who will graduate as a junior on his 21st birthday, may 8, averaged 23.5 points during the tournament. he scored 16 points & grabbed nine rebounds upon leading his young team to victory. uconn started three freshmen, among them jeremy lamb, who finished with 12 points & seven rebounds, along with roscoe smith who blocked four shots. sophomore center alex oriakhi played superbly, contributing 11 points, 11 rebounds & four blocked shots.
no one expected uconn or butler to play for the championship. butler lost last year's title game to duke amidst their cinderella run to the finals. they join the university of michigan as the only team in the last 20 years to both play & lose back-to-back title games. uconn (32-9) capped an amazing & unprecedented run after ending the regular season on a mild losing streak. they won the big east tournament - winning five games in five days - climaxed by their demoralizing win against butler.
the bulldogs played hard, but shot poorly, finishing with a record three two-point field goals. it was an ugly game to watch, particularly in the first half, as both teams struggled to drop the rock; the halftime score was butler 22 uconn 19. missed shot after missed shot for butler will be over-analyzed by pundits, yet the fact remains uconn's defense swarmed the bulldogs at every opportunity forcing bad shots & unlikely turnovers. uconn won the last 11 games of the season & deserve their place in history.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.