A Legal Dog Fight

By Kenny Roda

It’s the Huskies versus the Bulldogs tonight for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Title.

One team that struggled just to get in the tournament and the other struggled to play .500 ball down the stretch of the regular season. Butler pulled off some late season magic to win the Horizon League title, while U-Conn did the unthinkable, winning 5 games in 5 days to claim the Big East Conference title.  Both teams got hot at the right time. So take your seeding and throw that out the window, while top seeds fell left and right,  8th seeded Butler just found ways to win, and 3rd seeded U-Conn made it 10 one-and-down wins in a row to reach the title game.

The Huskies will be counting on do-it-all guard Kemba Walker to play one more unbelievable game. He leads the team, which has only two double-digit scorers, with

24ppg. Walker also grabs about 5 rebounds and dishes out about 5 assists per game.

Jeremy Lamb is the only other Huskie with some offensive bark, putting up 11ppg.

Big man, Alex Oriakhi will have to come up huge in the paint both offensively and defensively for U-Conn to slow down the Bulldogs. Also Shabazz Napier(best name in the tournament), must give the Huskies something on offense if Jim Calhoun is to pick up his 3rd NCAA title.

Can the Butler finally do it this year? Why not! The experience that Brad Stevens squad gained last year in the title loss to Duke has obviously paid dividends, as they are back for the 2nd year in a row in the championship game.  Not bad for a Mid-major with a 34 year old coach, who lost their best player early in the NBA draft lottery.  The Bulldogs just find ways or create new ways to win. Matt Howard is the cornerstone for this team.

The 6’8 senior leads the team in scoring(16.7), rebounds(7.8), blocked shots(1.1) and is 2nd in field goal percentage(48.4), 3point percentage(40.9) and free throw percentage(78.8).  He epitomizes what Butler basketball is all about.  But the best pro prospect on the team is Shelvin Mack.  The 6’3 junior guard has come up huge for the Bulldogs this NCAA tournament, averaging over 20ppg in the 5 contests so far, and he’ll have to do more of the same, if the Butler is going to do it.

This is going to be a great game. A #3 seed versus an #8 seed.  A 2-time NCAA champion versus a Mid-major school looking to make history by winning it’s first national championship.  Slow down Kemba Walker, easier said then done, and Butler wins. If not, Walker will have pulled off something not seen since Danny Manning’s one man show led Kansas to the title in 1988. It was “Danny and the Miracles” back then, and I have a feeling it’s going to be “Kemba and the Canines”  tonight. I’ll be rooting for Butler to prove that more mid-majors deserve a shot in the tournament, but this run that U-Conn has been on is unbelievable, and I think it ends with their 3rd National Championship 65-63.


1 Comment

  1. Didn’t mean to offend when I called you a huskie fan. Point being you sounded enamoured by the coach and team. It’s like talking Bucs with LCB. I know where your heart lies. UCONN won partly due to butler’s shooting, and partly their talent/ coaching. Still love you way more than LCB. The only time I agree with him and I piss you off… Go figure. So sorry!

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