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And Another Thing



Well, that will make you yearn for the days of the two-handed set shot.

Final score in the NCAA championship game: Connecticut 53, Butler 41.

Final shooting percentages: UConn 34.5 (19-of-55), Butler a horrific, record-setting 18.8 (12 of 64).

3-point shooting: UConn 1 of 11, Butler 9 of 33.

The last time America saw this much bricklaying, they were building colonial Williamsburg. It was, without a doubt, the worst-played NCAA championship in my memory, and my memory goes back a few years/decades/eons.

For Butler, the culprits were not just the unprecedented shooting woes, but the absolute absence of an inside game. It's the first time in the tournament the Bulldogs have been visibly intimidated in the paint, to the point where they were kicking it out even when they had solid position on the blocks.

A number to chew on, if you're Butler: UConn outrebounded the Bulldogs 51-38, and blocked 10 shots. Alex Oriakhi was the major culprit, scoring 11 points and taking 11 rebounds and holding Butler's inside people, Matt Howard and Andrew Smith to a combined 12 points on 3-of-22 shooting. Howard alone was 1 of 13.

Last year, it was only one shot, right at the end, that went clang in the night for Butler. This year it was an entire rhythm section.

There's your epitaph.

Ben Smith's blog.