Monday, April 4, 2011
NCAA Championship Game Preview
I was going to write a sarcastic, weepy Mike Lupica column extolling the virtues of Kemba Walker, the little project kid that could who has captivated the imagination of the nation, but that hack beat me to it. So, what else to say about Kemba vs. Butler tonight? I assume the majority of viewers will be pulling for the underdog Bulldogs, who I guess can't be called a Cinderella team after this year. Just like Gonzaga ceased to be the team that comes out of nowhere every year; once you make the title game two years in a row, I think it's safe to say that you've arrived.
Nevertheless, neither of these teams were expected to be playing tonight but have seemed to get hot at the right time, which as Lupica would say, is what makes this time of year so magical. Every game being an elimination game really amps up the drama. The styles of play of the two teams are fairly different though, Butler playing a game of movement and constant back door plays, punctuated by occasional three point outbursts. While Connecticut prefers to work outside-in, also running a lot of isolation plays for Kemba when the scores get tight.
You would think being here last year would give Butler a little bit of an edge, especially since there isn't a great difference in the quality of the teams. At the same time, I like the spring of Kemba to continue and UConn to pull out a close one. Second year of heartbreak in a row for Butler. Can't wait for Lupica's "the New York kid that made good for us all" column tomorrow. Long live Kemba.