Fighting Words: Butler who?

Jack Wehman: Bulldogs looked more like puppies

No team won the NCAA Championship Monday night. Butler lost it.

The Bulldogs put on one of the most impressive Final Four runs in recent memory — they took down No. 1-seeded Pittsburgh, No. 2 Florida and No. 4 Wisconsin, not to mention wildcard. And yet the team that took the court after the first half looked like a bunch of clowns.

Butler deserves whatever criticism comes its way. For all of the hype, the team that performed in Reliant Stadium wasn’t just struggling, it was drowning.

That six minute scoreless stretch was the best assistance UConn could ask for.

The Huskies didn’t have to do anything to win the game, they just had to wait for Matt Howard to throw an ill-advised brick at the basket and take the rebound down the court, and run down that precious clock.

Just because you’re a low-seeded team doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be criticized. The Bulldogs lost, period, and they lost horribly. They are still number two — but they should be scolded for giving up the top spot before the clock ran out.

Joshua Siegel: Can’t knock the hustle

Obviously, it is fair to acknowledge that Butler lost and that their shooting performance did them in, but they fought hard and did everything right for 40 minutes, apart from make shots.

For whatever reason, the shots just didn’t go in. The Huskies played solid, but not great defense. They didn’t play the type of defense that would produce an all-time terrible shooting performance from their opponents.

That said, UConn’s length and athleticism did bother the Bulldogs inside and Jeremy Lamb used his length to bother Shelvin Mack, who was actually a bright spot shooting at 4-for-15.

Even as their halftime lead slipped away and Lamb soared for an exclamation point dunk, the Bulldogs still cut hard off of every screen and boxed out on every bucket.

They never let their shooting performance discourage their efforts in other areas of the game and that is probably the most admirable thing that a losing team can do. I salute the Bulldogs for their efforts until the final buzzer sounded.

John Brannen: Butler’s run is dust in the wind

In the immortal words of Nelly “number two is not a winner, and three nobody remembers.”

Looking back what most people will recall is how Kemba Walker carried the Connecticut Huskies for their third national championship. Unfortunately for Butler and the citizens of Indiana, their history-making run could go unnoticed as years pass by.

Butler deserves some credit for being a small school from America’s heartland that sent its team to the Final Four two years in a row.

The Bulldogs were the national runner-up , and have earned their university some positive press. Recruits will keep in mind their past success in the NCAA Tournament.

Many who followed the game said something like “this is what happens when a Cinderella team makes the tournament.” Those gripes may be justified, but one must realize that the Bulldogs were still better than 66 teams in the field of 68, meaning they’re still better than your favorite team.

Playing basketball in a football facility makes for a foreign experience, but that’s no excuse. A loss is a loss. Judge Nasty Newton, you have to feel me.

Judge Sir Isaac Newton: Law says go big or go home

What is this, a three-way “argument” involving two Butler-sniffing Bulldogs? Sure, Butler deserves some credit — credit for not mistakenly scoring in their own goal. They say the NCAA Championship involves teams playing basketball. I didn’t see any basketball being played Monday night. Josh, you claim they did everything right for 40 minutes, apart from making shots. Are you listening to yourself? John, I’ll acknowledge Butler ain’t a big shot in the world of college athletics, but in the Final Four, you go big or go home. And it was a one-way ticket back to Indiana for them. You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, and for the Bulldogs, they were throwing fists. Take it from Sir Isaac Newton, what goes up, must come down — and into the basket. The Bulldogs were never able to get the ball up.

Verdict: It’s rare that I’ll side with Mr. Wehman, but it looks like he made more of an effort than you two did (and Butler for sure).

Facetime: You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the wait game is the hardest part.

Leave a Comment