2011 NCAA Tournament

Connecticut's Kemba Walker, right, celebrates with teammate Charles Okwandu, left, at the end of the men's NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game against Butler Monday, April 4, 2011, in Houston. Connecticut won 53-41.

Top dogs: Huskies shut down Bulldogs

The only thing that could stop Kemba Walker and Connecticut’s amazing run was the final buzzer. On a night when the massive arena felt like a dusty old gym, UConn made Butler look like the underdog it really was, winning the national championship Monday night with an old-fashioned, grinding 53-41 beatdown of the Bulldogs.

April 5, 2011


Musical chair losers, winners

For a college basketball fan, Selection Sunday is Christmas Eve. The Thursday and Friday of the first week of the NCAA Tournament are (usually) the two best basketball game days of each year.

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Scott Bowers of Webb City, Mo., wins bracket contest

It took him less than three minutes to make all his picks, but in the end, Scott Bowers is happy that he stuck with his instinct to have UConn advance all the way in his bracket.

KU fourth in final ESPN/USA Today coaches poll

The Kansas men's basketball team placed fourth in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches poll released Monday.

Cold Bulldogs doomed

Butler hits record-low 18.8 percent

Butler couldn’t go inside. It couldn’t score outside. Its shots were blocked all night long.

Young coaches wise to be picky

Shaka Smart could have cashed in at North Carolina State. Chris Mooney could have bolted to Georgia Tech. Instead, these in-demand basketball coaches agreed to contract extensions with their current schools, Smart at VCU, Mooney the University of Richmond.

Shaka Smart staying at VCU

VCU coach Shaka Smart is staying with the Rams after leading them on a surprising Final Four run.

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Butler showing little guys how to get it done

College basketball's biggest party was once an exclusive affair, such a stretch for small schools there might as well have been "No Mid-Majors Allowed" signs plastered on the locker room doors at the Final Four.

Commentary: In tonight’s NCAA title, root for Butler

Richmond and Cleveland State were the 1980s pioneers, charming and obscure underdogs who crashed the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

UConn, Butler in bizarro final

Butler coach Brad Stevens loves an underdog, whether it’s his team back in the Final Four or Connecticut making an unprecedented five-games-in-five-nights run through the Big East tournament. Wait, what?

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UConn holds on for 56-55 win over Kentucky

When it's win or go home, nobody's better than Kemba and the kids.

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Mack leads Butler back to national title game

The lovable underdog label is long gone. Now Butler is determined to drop that "first loser" tag, too.

Final Four outcome unpredictable

Connecticut freshman guard Jeremy Lamb recently was struck with this thought: “Man, I can’t believe we’re in the Final Four.”

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Late grandfather inspiration for Smart

Before the college basketball world started screaming about Virginia Commonwealth, back when ESPN pundits still considered VCU a four-letter word, Shaka Smart spoke softly to the man who helped give him a strong voice.

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VCU coach Shaka Smart confident: ‘We ain’t done yet’ in NCAAs

Our time. Right now. That is the rallying cry Virginia Commonwealth University has adopted during its basketball team’s improbable nothing-to-lose, everything-to-gain run to the Final Four.

March 2011