Connecticut beat Butler 53-41 and Kemba Walker scored 16 points to give Jim Calhoun his third national championship. This was a huge achievement as something of this sort was possible by only four other coaches. In the sports betting odds too, Connecticut were the favorites to win.
To a Final Four-record low 18.8 shooting percentage (12 for 64), the Huskies did it with defense holding the Bulldogs. After winning five games in as many days to win the Big East title, Connecticut capped one of college basketball’s best postseason runs, winning six games in the NCAA tournament.
In the final seconds for Arizona, Derrick Williams and Jamelle Horne missed 3-pointers, allowing the third-seeded Huskies (30-9) to hang on for their ninth victory in 19 days. It also allowed them a trip to Houston next week. Last year, after missing the NCAA tournament entirely, coach Jim Calhoun’s tireless team is headed to UConn’s fourth Final Four.
While battling foul trouble for the fifth-seeded Wildcats (30-8), Williams had 20 points. Before six points by Lamb, the Wildcats led with 6 minutes to play.
In the NCAA title game, Butler set a woeful 19 percent record, which was the worst shooting percentage and in its 53-41 loss to Connecticut, he had managed just 12 field goals.
Shelvin Mack was held to 13 points. In the first five games, he averaged almost 22 points and leading scorer Matt Howard had seven on 1-of-13 shooting.
Butler moved on with a 70-62 victory against Virginia Commonwealth, while the Huskies reached the championship game by beating fourth-seeded Kentucky 56-55.