UConn Huskies Beat Butler Bulldogs in UGLIEST NCAA Title Game EVER

In Oliver Stone’s classic film Wall Street, the iconic main character Gordon Gekko describes terrible, worthless stocks as “dogs” and “dogs with fleas.” In another line of dialogue, he asks his mentee Bud Fox. “I bet you were up all night analyzing that dogshit stock?”

I guess Mr. Gekko didn’t like canines too much.

His metaphors certainly apply to a college basketball game that the NCAA would probably want us all to erase from our memory. If you were tweeting along with the Butler Bulldogs vs. UConn Huskies national title game tonight, you probably noticed a lot of people saying some nasty things about the 53-41 UConn win. Harsher words than “dogshit” even.

By Paul M. Banks

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Butler vs. UConn: National Championship Drinking Game

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Welcome to the third annual NCAA Tournament Championship Drinking Game, one of our favorite articles every year here at The Sports Bank.  If you missed our first two editions, you can check the 2009 Michigan State vs. North Carolina version and last year’s Butler vs. Duke one.

Even if you do not have a rooting interest in tonight’s game between Butler and UConn, invite some friends over, buy a heck of a lot of booze, follow our drinking rules, and it will be as much fun as if your own team was playing.

Our lawyer insists we add the following: The Sports Bank is not responsible for anyone dumb enough to actually try this and the harm to his/her body that would certainly occur if this game was played.  If you are idiotic enough to attempt keeping pace with this game, please have your local emergency room on stand-by and do not drink and drive.  Thank you.

By: David Kay and Peter Christian
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10 Butler-UConn National Title Game Questions

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It’s finally here, the Super Bowl of college basketball. The end of all the madness that March left will be resolved on Monday night between the Butler Bulldogs and Connecticut Huskies. I think Butler has the advantage with the experience and better guard play (sorry Kemba Walker). If Butler can force this young UConn team to make mistakes, they should win.  It should literally be an old fashioned dog fight – and not the kind that Michael Vick is invited to.

Here are 10 questions that will need answered for Monday’s National Championship Game:

by Ryan West [Read more…]

Can Butler’s Matt Howard Make it in the NBA?

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Matt Howard of the Butler Bulldogs is to committing a good hard foul what Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is to being unfunny and possessing no wit.

Howard benefited greatly from sophomore Center Andrew Smith breaking the starting lineup. This allowed Howard to move from the five to the four, giving him more experience playing the only position he has a legitimate chance of playing at the next level. Howard, lost weight in the offseason and improved his jump shot.  He’s a great college basketball player, but his skills do not necessarily translate to the next level.

Still, he could get serious looks due to his intangibles and actually make a roster due to his winning ways and the energy he brings. And he’s smart too, Matt Howard was the Academic All-American of the year.

By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

Go here for our NBA draft stock analysis of Shelvin Mack

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Who Really Thought the UConn Huskies Would Get Here?

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The Connecticut Huskies have quietly been the surprise of the season. Butler and VCU are the surprises of the tournament, yes, but no one expected this out of Connecticut.  This season has been full of surprises, but there hasn’t been one bigger than the progression of the Connecticut Huskies.

The team went through the Jim Calhoun recruiting violations and his possible retirement.  They were considered a team that was too young and couldn’t handle the distractions that surrounded them. They were considered to only be a one man show and no way could they survive the Big East. Then, they started off the season surprising top 10 ranked teams in the Michigan State Spartans and Kentucky Wildcats in Maui. Everyone fell in love with Kemba Walker and named him king of college basketball. Until the Jimmer took over, Kemba was the nation’s leading scorer.

But then the inexperience and youth showed itself during the rigorous Big East schedule while the Huskies struggled down the stretch. With only a 9-9 record in the conference they were more like the team they were supposed to be – a young team with talent that wasn’t ready.

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Butler Bulldogs Prepare for Wisconsin Badgers in NCAA Sweet Sixteen

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If college basketball has an Alexander the Great, it’s probably Butler Bulldogs head Coach Brad Stevens. Like the ancient ruler who conquered half the known world before his 20th birthday, Stevens has accomplished a lot at a very young age. He graduated from college in 1999, but he’s already taken a team to within three points of a national title, and three sweet sixteens.

Only five coaches in NCAA men’s basketball history have reached 100 wins faster than Stevens and none has done it in the last three decades. Butler will make its fourth “Sweet 16” appearance in nine years when they meet the No. 4 seed Wisconsin in the Southeast Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The game between the two Midwest (and very, very white) teams is scheduled for a 8:57 p.m. (CT) tip and will be televised on TBS.

By Paul M. Banks

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NCAA Tournament Southeast Regional Sweet 16 Breakdown

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Butler has done it again; knocking off Pitt in the third round of the NCAA Tournament featuring a crazy ending with two somewhat controversial foul calls in the final seconds.  Now the Bulldogs are in the Sweet 16 of the Southeast Regional along with Wisconsin, Florida, and Jimmer Fredette’s BYU Cougars.  Here is the breakdown of Thursday night’s games and who I think will be heading to the Final Four.

By: David Kay
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National Academic All-American of the Year: Butler’s Matt Howard

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Butler senior forward Matt Howard has been named the 2010-11 NCAA Division I college basketball Academic All-American of the Year. Howard was chosen to the Capital One Academic All-America Team, for a school-record third consecutive year.

Howard was one of two repeat selections on the University Division first team. Graduate student Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame also was named to the first team for the second consecutive year.

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Butler Bulldogs a Good Role Model for UIC Flames

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For a solid blueprint to success, the team playing at the campus colloquially known as “Circle” can look to their “Circle City” conference brethren.

“Butler has a program that we’re aspiring to be, not that we’re trying to be Butler,” said UIC first year Head Coach Howard Moore, who previously worked as an assistant under Bo Ryan at Wisconsin.

“We’re aspiring for that kind of success, where your players come out expecting to win and expecting to get results whether at home or on the road. They’re very impressive, they know who they are, and they play to that.”

Moore has many reasons to complement his Horizon League rival. Brad Stevens has won the league all three years that he’s led the small private school in Indianapolis. This year, they’ll finish third or fourth, but look to be in decent shape for a NCAA at-large bid

By Paul M. Banks

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Butler Bulldogs 79, UIC Flames 52: Rapid Reaction

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If you read a lot of March Madness bracket projections (as college hoops nerds such as I often do) you might have noticed the Butler Bulldogs beginning the day as one of the last college basketball teams into the field of 68.

So with a road trip to UIC and a home game against Loyola waiting to finish up the conference slate, it was imperative the Bulldogs win big over Chicago’s two Horizon League teams. The first part of the mission was accomplished as Butler crushed UIC 79-52.

UIC led this game for most of the first half, but around 6:30 mark, Butler took over, never looked back and grabbed a 40-27 lead into halftime. They did what they had to in order to keep improving their RPI, winning big.

Because of the opponents’ winning percentage component of the RPI, it was essential that they beat UIC, a team that now stands at 7-15, 2-15 in conference by a very large margin.

By Paul M. Banks

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