Shawn Vanzant couldn’t stop whining on his way out of the locker room, still unable to accept as true what a mess of a shooting night it was for Butler in the national championship game. “12-for-64,” the senior kept murmuring as his teammates tried to cheer him up. Eventually the 6-foot senior stormed out of Reliant Stadium following a 53-41 defeat to UConn with a teammate’s arm covering his shoulder. Odds.
The Bulldogs completed back-to-back runs to the Final Four together, and together as underdogs their rivals got the better of them after falling short for a 2nd consecutive year. “All the people that played feel like they let us down, and that’s ridiculous,” coach Brad Stevens said. “If someone has to go 12-for-64, these guys have the character to handle it.”
It won’t be simple for Butler to depart Houston without regrets and to make peace with the total nastiest shooting performance in the history of national title games. Butler shot 18.8 percent from the floor for the lowest mark in a championship game and the lowest in any NCAA tournament game since 1946. Butler had only three 2-point field goals. Scores.
6-foot-3 guard, Shelvin Mack made 13 points on 4-for-15 from the field, admittedly misplaced open shots. The funny-haired forward Matt Howard ended his fairy-tale career with a 1-for-13 performance and a blood-stained right knee. Andrew Smith, the team’s 6-foot-11 center, scored the team’s first points in the paint on a putback with 6:13 left.
Now back with Vanzant, who went 2-for-10, was desperate over the 52 missed field goals. Many of them were undemanding shots, but Butler also recognized the UConn suffocating, resistant defense that rejected 10 shots.
In the other locker room, UConn’s freshman Jeremy Lamb leaned back in his chair and extended a long arm to demonstrate how his length might have bothered Mack. “If I’m off you, people think I can’t contest, but I can.” The Huskies’ frontmen were particularly superior, with 6-foot-9 Alex Oriakhi and 6-foot-8 Roscoe Smith blocking four shots apiece.
The Butler Bulldogs who registered a 28-10 regular season record will lose a handful of seniors and possibly Shelvin Mack to the NBA draft subsequent to previously capturing the nation’s mind’s eye with an improbable NCAA tournament run. The Bulldogs had reeled off 14 consecutive wins, as well as upsets of Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Florida, to get to the Final Four as a No 8 seed.
Not every fairy story can have a happy ending. Stevens still found a way to give comfort to his pupils, telling them his only regret was not being capable to coach on Senior Day due to blurred vision. Las Vegas odds.
In the end the Butler Bulldogs just simply missed.
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