National Championship: Butler vs. UConn

 

Will the Butler bench look like this come the final minutes or can they pull the upset?

The entire basketball season has led up to this, the game to decide it all.

The National Championship.

Who would have ever guessed this matchup at the beginning, middle, end of the season or even two weeks ago?

Tonight should be a really good game. UConn plays a style that is slow like Butler, making it unlikely a blow out will occur. UConn prides itself on their ability to grab rebounds and block shots. Matt Howard and the other Butler bigs are going to have their hands full.

UConn doesn’t shoot well from the outside, and Butler defends well out there too. Butler already Pittsburgh, one of the best inside teams in the nation, so they can get it done against bigger stronger guys down low.

Overall I see this game differently then most, because I think its the best matchup possible to crown a Butler/VCU team a winner.

For Butler to win:

Limit Kemba Walker’s ability to take over the game, he can score some points but don’t let him dictate the game.

Rebound the ball decently, especially don’t let UConn get a ton of second chances.

Shoot the ball well from the outside. Shelvin Mack has to hit his shots, and Butler must put together a good game from 3 and jump shooting because Matt Howard is not going to carry the team tonight.

For UConn to win:

Kemba Walker needs to attack the defense and not settle for jumpshots. While he can make them, the percentages of them going in raise tremendously if he can get to the hoop.

Win the rebounding battle. If UConn can get open looks that’d be great, but they have the guys to battle down low for rebounds. With offensive rebounds, the Huskies could win the second chance points contest big time.

Take care of the ball. The Huskies are generally a good team at not turning it over, but Butler will be aggressive out there tonight. Even more so than usual, and it could lead to steals on entry passes to the low post.

Prediction:

If you’ve read this blog before, you know I don’t like UConn. Forget the recruiting violations, I’ve always hated UConn because they are one of the biggest rivals of St. John’s. With that said I’m going to do my best to look at the game objectively.

UConn has more talent, more athleticism, more height, and maybe some more money. Butler though has Brad Stevens, and more importantly experience.

Butler has been here before, and almost beat a team that was better than UConn is. While Butler is not the team they were last year, they still are here and are obviously pretty good.

I look for Butler to exploit UConn by finding opening shots, while forcing UConn to take lower percentage ones. This game is going to come down to the end, and I have more faith in the Bulldogs pulling it out based on their experience of last year. UConn’s path to the game might have included a few impressive victories, but Butler’s path was even more so. Look for another classic game, and I hope it can be as good as last year’s game.

Butler 68, UConn 66

Go Bulldogs!

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