Men's Basketball Championship Game Open Thread

Butler. UConn. Reliant Center in Houston. One Shining Moment is cued. The ball is tipped... (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

College basketball has gone to the dogs.

No, that's not really a statement on the state of things in Westwood.  Well, actually, it could be,  But I meant it to apply more literally to tonight's NCAA Championship matchup between the #8 seeded Butler Bulldogs (28-9) and the #3 seeded University of Connecticut Huskies (31-9).

Butler got by VCU in the first semi-final on Saturday, assuring us that a play-in team can't win the title, thus, there is no valid reason to expand the tournament.  Go back to 64 teams next year, okay NCAA?  UConn squeaked by Kentucky in the second semi-final, assuring us that only one tournament game in Houston will need to be vacated. 

This is an interesting matchup.  It's the overachieving mid-major against a perennial Big East power.  Of course, Butler reached the championship game last year, so maybe they are the returning power?  Butler's Brad Stevens looks like a Microsoft intern, but he might be the best coach in the country.  He also has the country's most unheralded great player in guard Shelvin Mack.  Unless its forward Matt Howard.  These two form the core of a Butler team that is well prepared, plays hard, makes few mistakes, and consistently beats teams with more talented rosters.   It's easy to root for this team.

UConn meanwhile has the country's most heralded (and deservedly so) player in guard Kemba Walker.  But it's freshman guard Jeremy Lamb who might be their most important player.  Head coach Jim Calhoun already has two national titles under his belt.  A third puts him even with Bob Knight, and behind only Adolph Rupp (4), coach K (4), and Coach (10).  That's good company   UConn will look to use its athleticism against Butler to penetrate and slash and bully its way to the hoop.  It's easy to appreciate these guys' skills.

I did pick the semi-final games right in my open thread preview, but my BN bracket had Duke and Pitt in this game.  So take this for what it's worth.   My heart will definitely be cheering for Butler, but my brain says UConn is too talented.  Besides, they are the only basketball team on their campus still playing.  Who would have guessed that 3 weeks ago?  The Huskies will cut down the nets tonight.

Here is your Tournament Final Open thread.  Have at it.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bruins Nation

You must be a member of Bruins Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bruins Nation. You should read them.

Join Bruins Nation

You must be a member of Bruins Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bruins Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker