Tuesday, April 5, 2011
A few words on last night's NCAA men's basketball championship game: It was heartbreaking. It was depressing. It was patently ridiculous. Never in our life had we seen a good team, a really, really good team play as poorly as did the Butler Bulldogs in their 53-41 loss to the Connecticut Huskies yesterday.
After seeing the same team with virtually the same personnel take Duke to the wire in last year's championship game and then see them make another run in this year's tournament with the "Butler Way" of grit, brawn and brains, last night's performance was the last thing we expected. Everyone knows they win "ugly" but no one saw this type of ugly coming their way.
For Butler's part, who had the poorest shooting percentage ever (18.8%) and the lowest point total in a championship game since 1941, it did indeed seem like the game of basketball was set back 70 years.
How bad was it? That game took the wind out of our sails to the degree that we didn't even bother sticking around for the most anticipated and bitter-sweet, post-event traditions in all of sports and that is the annual airing of "One Shining Moment" (how cool is it hearing about players ranging from off-the-farm to hardened inner-city kids claiming this piece of schlocky pop road-kill was always their favorite song growing up?).
Shame. The kids who play their home games in the field house used for the state championship game in Hoosiers deserved better. Then again, bet those same kids would tell you that, in sports, there's no such thing as "deserve".
Having said all that... it's gotta be, right?
"One Shining Moment" the 2011 version:
Cool. They went back to the Luther Vandross version this year after last year's Jennifer Hudson debacle.
P.S. For a really good write-up of the scene inside the Butler locker room after the game, check out Bob Wetzel's piece, here.