NCAA Tournament 2011

March 28, 2011 | Michael Schwartz

Is this the most interesting NCAA Tournament in recent memory? There are no one or two seeds in the Final Four. Butler, an eight seed, is facing Virginia Commonwealth, an eleven seed. There will be an eight seed or eleven seed in the NCAA Championship. On the other side it will be Kentucky, a number four seed, against the University of Connecticut, a three seed. Even though there is no eight, nine, or ten seed. There have been many upsets in these regions. The defending National Champions, Duke, were knocked off by Arizona. Duke was a favorite to win the National Championship again. Ohio State, a likely final four team, was knocked out by a young Kentucky team. Marquette, an eleven seed, beat Xavier and Syracuse before falling to UNC.
The Richmond Spiders upset Vanderbilt in the first round and played Morehead State, who upset Louisville. A twelve seed versus a thirteen seed game is not something that happens each year, but this was a different year. In the same region Florida State upset UCLA and then Notre Dame before falling to VCU. The 10, 11, 12, and 13 seed teams all pulled the upset in the first round and some in the second round.
When Butler plays VCU, it will be the highest combined seeds to ever play each other in the final four. VCU was a last four team in and now they are in the final four. They are playing Butler who beat Old Dominion in the first round, then Pittsburgh in the second, Wisconsin in the third, and Florida in the Elite Eight. Butler was in the Championship last year, but lost to Duke by two. They almost hit a half court shot to win the game, and it almost banked in but it didn’t. Butler maintained a lot of their players such as Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack. Mack has led them throughout the tournament, and Howard has hit two game winners. The veteran leadership on Butler has let them come this far in the tournament and has given them a chance to get to the Championship again.
UCONN is led by Kemba Walker, one of the best players in college basketball today. UCONN can only go as far as he takes them. He is at the top of his game now, but UCONN is going against a very good team in Kentucky. Brandon McKnight is a freshman but hit the game winning field goal against Ohio State. This game will be fast paced and will be good, but if Kemba is on, then it may Kentucky may be packing their bags.
I think the National Championship will be UCONN against Butler. Butler is playing their best ball of the year and they right now they cannot be beat. VCU will give them a very tough game but Butler will prevail because of Mack and Howard. UCONN will prevail against Kentucky in their toughest game of the tournament. Kemba will have to score 25 points for them to win, and I think he will score 30 plus but it will still be a very close game.