In 1983, the N.C. State Wolfpack registered one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history when they defeated the Houston Cougars in the championship game. It was also the last championship game where neither team broke the 60-point plateau. Twenty-eight years later, the Butler Bulldogs and Connecticut Huskies fought in yet another David v. Goliath game where neither team reached 60 points. That was the only thing that the two games had in common.
After a closely-contested first half, UConn pulled away in the second half and defeated Butler 53-41 for their third national championship.
Kemba Walker led all scorers with 16 points. Jeremy Lamb had 12 points and Alex Oriakhi had 11. For Butler, Shelvin Mack had 13 points, while Matt Howard struggled with seven points and only one field goal.
A sloppy first 20 minutes ended with Butler holding a 22-19 lead and a Chase Stigali three-pointer would give them a 25-19 lead out of the gate. But a 14-1 UConn run in response would put them in control for the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs are used to playing low-scoring games, but it did not play into their hands Monday. The Huskies used their size advantage to disrupt Butler's offensive flow. Butler shot an abysmal 12-for-64 and only three of their made field goals were from inside the three-point line.
Connecticut, who became the first team in Big East history to win five games in five days en route to a Big East Tournament championship, has now won three championships since 1999 (2004).