Butler-UConn: After 30 minutes
Clang, clang, clang Butler. Then Tyler Lamb makes a steal (maybe it should have been a foul), slam dunk, Huskies lead, 31-26. Butler Coach Brad Stevens calls timeout. At this moment it seems difficult to see the Bulldogs being able to score five more points.
And now Butler is one-for-20 shooting from two-point range as forward Matt Howard misses another layup. Lamb rebounds his own miss and score, putting the Huskies up 33-26 and then Bulldogs have gone over seven minutes without scoring. Butler's Kyhle Marshall then misses two free throws but Shawn Vanzant hits a jumper to cut the Bulldogs' deficit to 33-28. The Bulldog licks its lips. The real bulldog.
(Side note, the Big East has an official in this game, John Cahill. The Horizon League does not. Stevens has noticed.)
Shabazz Napier makes two free throws, putting Huskies up 35-28. Butler has come back from a lot, but coming back without being able to make two-point field goals or free throws? Seems tough.
Napier-to-Lamb alley-oop, UConn ahead, 37-28, then Smith misses an all-alone layup? With 10 minutes to go, UConn is up 11 after a Kemba Walker layup, 39-28.
According to Jim Nantz, this matches Butler's largest deficit of the tournament.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: UConn guard Kemba Walker tries to keep control of his dribble against the defense of Butler's Matt Howard and Shawn Vanzant on Monday night in the NCAA championship game. Credit: Getty Images