After the exciting action that the initial Final Four games gave us, all of America is sitting on their seat in anticipation of another big game. The Men's Championship game will bit the Butler Bulldogs against the Connecticut Huskies. This final is one of the most unlikely matchups considering where these teams came from. The Huskies were not even ranked to start this year and no one really expected Butler to lose a lottery pick in SF Gordon Heyward and make it back to the championship. But the mere appearance of these teams in the National Title game is a credit to two great coaches who get the absolute most out of their teams.
As far as the game goes, I expect this game to be low scoring. For the Huskies, everything they do revolves around star PG Kemba Walker. Walker has carried this team all year and has been one of the best players in the country. He will be facing a very stingy Bulldog defense and he will more than likely be seeing PG Ronald Nored all game. Butler will be physical with Walker all game long. Another thing to expect from Butler defensively is to limit the open shots for Lamb. Butler closes out to shooters very well and they also have great help defense. PF Alex Oriakhi must be a factor on the offensive end because the more active he is, the more of a chance that Butler PF Matt Howard, who will be guarding him a lot, will get in foul trouble.
The Huskies have a tremendous task on their hands as well. Butler PG/SG Shelvin Mack has been outstanding this post-season and he has been unguardable at times as well. UCONN PG Shabazz Napier and the aforementioned Kemba Walker will have to play sound defense because he is Butler's most indispensable weapon. Another key is for the Huskies to get out on the Butler shooters. Howard and Mack along with Zach Hahn and Shawn Vanzant are all capable of knocking down some huge three pointers. But, the main thing that UCONN must do is keep Howard off the boards. He owned VCU on the offensive boards and if he is allowed to be a factor on the offensive boards this game, UCONN will lose. The Connecticut big men must locate Howard and box him out.
This game will end up going down to the wire and it will come down to who will make the plays to win. Butler is a veteran team that has been in this situation before so I expect them to handle this situation better. The Bulldogs' defense along with some clutch plays by Mack will help the Butler Bulldogs take the championship home to Indiana.
Prediction: Butler 63, Connecticut 59
If you have any other predictions, a comment or just want to tale about the game, feel free to drop a comment.