I want to fully turn away from the train wreck that was the Men’s National Championship… but have been pulled back into the conversation once again from all the noise about how great the defense was…how hard it is to shoot with a dome as a background…the pressure of it all…how darn hard both teams played…what effort…
Defense is generally played when the other team has the ball. Nothing new.
Been playing Final Fours in caverns for decades. People in the top rows get complimentary oxygen packs. You can fall off the court and land four flights down. You shoot into a sea of nothingness…except for that big orange rim and bright white net. Nothing new.
Pressure…yeah, that’s why they call it the FINAL Four. Nothing new.
Effort…you are playing for the title…any other incentive needed? Nothing new.
Once police cordoned off Reliant Stadium with “DO NOT CROSS” tape, white chalk outlines were etched at both ends of the court around each of the lanes…and autopsies were conducted on those afore-mentioned rims (the nets were mysteriously gone by the time police got there)…here are some facts investigators compiled regarding the crime committed against college basketball Monday night:
Worst shooting performance in a Championship Game. Butler was 18.8%…12 of 64. The worst shooting performance in a Tournament game since 1946…and the third-worst ever in a Tournament game.
Butler had three two-point field goals. Fewest ever in a Tournament game.
UConn’s 53 point total was the lowest in a Championship Game since 1949. Fewest total points in a Championship Game since the same year.
UConn’s total of 109 points in its two Final Four games was the lowest in a Final Four for the Champion since 1946. They made two three-point shots total in their two games.
Butler and UConn combined to shoot 26.1% in a Championship Game…worst since 1948.
Autopsies concluded. I can move on now to the next stage of grieving.