NCAA Championship Live Open Thread

Shelvin vs. Kemba? Who ya got?

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the Championship game!

3 Connecticut (31-9) vs. 8 Butler (28-9)

Line- Connecticut (-3.5)

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “NCAA Championship Live Open Thread

  1. I’m taking the Bulldogs tonight. Feel like Kemba is gonna have a tough time tonight. Defensive rebounding will be key for Butler.

  2. mays1850

    I’m not sure who will win tonight–I obviously lean toward Butler. One thing I do know is that Brad Stevens is going to try to force someone other than Walker to beat them. Butler is going to collapse hard on Walker when he drives tonight. If his teammates aren’t hitting open shots that he creates for them or crashing the boards hard when the defense shades toward Walker, it’s going to be a long night for UConn.

    UConn can play their fair share of defense as well though. Their pretty long and definitely more athletic than Butler, especially inside. Mack needs to continue to be a creator for the Bulldogs and get his teammates, especially the shooters involved early. Shawn Vanzant isn’t a guy you hear all that much on Butler’s side, but I like him to play a big role tonight for them, especially offensively.

  3. Patrick

    Agree with both of you. Root hard for Butler because Calhoun sucks. Want Kemba to go out blazing but no ring. UConn better hope from a big game from Lamb. Prediction: Lamb scores over 16 the Huskies win, under they lose. Kemba will naturally get his despite fatigue, but Lamb has really played well. To me, he is the key.

    Butler needs to knock down their outside shots and play their game. Despite obviously rooting against UConn, I really see only a few scenarios that lead to them being able to beat Butler.

  4. Lamb has been the difference during this run by UCONN. Kemba’s been great the whole year but Lamb has elevated his level of play. He’s been simply terrific. His length is unbelievable. Been so impressed with his game.

  5. mays1850

    All 4 College GameDay panelists pick UConn. Bilas says Butler won’t be able to rebound with them. I don’t really know how you can say that. They’ve won all but one rebounding battle in this tournament–beating VCU, Florida, Wisconsin, and Old Dominion, and losing to Pittsburgh. Florida, Wisconsin, and ODU are all considered excellent rebounding teams. UConn has more physical talent, sure, but Kevin Love leads the NBA in rebounding and he’s far from the most physically gifted. Stevens clearly teaches rebounding technique and does it well.

    By the way, I reserve judgment because he knew he had cameras on him, but how uninspiring was Jim Calhoun’s pre-game speech?

  6. Any of you all think Kemba’s ankle is an issue? Looked good in transition there but otherwise looked kinda slow.

  7. UCONN over the limit at the 9 minute mark. HUGE. And as Kerr says, could get Mack going.

  8. CafePolonia

    I think taking the over might have been a bad idea.

  9. mays1850

    Love how Butler defends the pick and roll. They dare Walker to give it up and let someone else create. I think UConn would be better off letting Walker take his guy without a screen.

  10. mays1850

    Well I stand corrected on the rebounding aspect of the game thus far. I thought Butler would be able to get on the offensive glass a bit more. A lot of it seems to have to do with Matt Howard drifting around the three-point line quite a bit. I wonder if they’ll make an adjustment.

  11. First one to 40 wins? This has been a real “dog” fight…had to.

  12. Dalton

    UCONN really needs Napier to create easy baskets for the bigs and allow kemba to catch and shoot. Besides that Jeremy Lamb is most important for UConn tonight. He needs to get hot

  13. mays1850

    It’s true, Butler needed to take more advantage of Lamb going to the bench early with two fouls. Early on it looked like he could get a pretty good shot of the bounce pretty much whenever he wanted. His converting of those good looks was another story, but he never really got started. He’s been UConn’s best creator off the dribble other than Walker in this tournament.

  14. Feel like Calhoun definitely got in the ear of these refs at the half. Wouldn’t be suprised if UCONN got some favorable calls in the opening minutes. Would love to see Butler get some baskets inside.

  15. mays1850

    Butler’s shots have all been tough shots. They can’t get a roll, but they’re also not getting anything easy. UConn is so much longer inside that they are able to put more pressure on the Butler’s guards because they know it’s going to be tough for Butler get shots over their big guys.

  16. conormu

    Can anybody explain why Butler is taking 3’s every possession (8 min left as I post this)? 8-49 for the game. The basket has to look awfully small right now…so jack it up from distance?

  17. conormu

    I know UConn is long, but let’s not pretend that Matt Howard is undermatched in the paint against these 2nd (or 3rd?) tier big guys.

  18. mays1850

    Don’t like this zone from Butler at all. This is the first time in this tournament they’ve altered from what they do as fundamentally as a team. Not a good sign. Go with what got you there. The problem hasn’t been their defense, anyways. It’s been their shooting.

  19. This has just been brutal. Nothing has been dropping for Butler.

  20. conormu

    two points: 1) despite all the big east bashing, the best conference in college basketball won the title again. 2) that said, UConn is the worst team to win a championship in my memory…Kemba is great, but this wasn’t a championship team.

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