For the second year in a row, the Butler Bulldogs will be playing in the national championship game. Brad Steven's team held off Shaka Smart's Virginia Commonwealth Rams 70-62 to advance to the 2011 NCAA title game against the winner of the Kentucky/UConn Final Four matchup.
Butler dominated the boards, out rebounding VCU 43-30. They held the Rams to 39 percent shooting, but more importantly, they held VCU to just eight of 22 shooting from downtown, where the Rams have lived and excelled all tournament long.
Shelvin Mack was once again the star for the Bulldogs, scoring 24 points on eight of 11 shooting from the field (five of six from triple). Matt Howard was his normal bruising self, adding 17 points and eight boards.
Jamie Skeen did his best to continue the Cinderella run of Shaka's Flaka, scoring 27 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Unfortunately for the Rams, Skeen was the lone bright spot, as poor shooting and a 16/12 assist to turnover ratio doomed VCU.
Monday night, Butler and the nation get to relieve some deja vu, all over again, as noted wordsmith Yogi Berra once told us.