HOUSTON — Since arriving in Texas last week, Kemba Walker had visions.
Snipping nets. Hearing "One Shining Moment." Confetti floating around him.
While the scene is an annual tradition, Walker accurately imagined himself and his Huskies teammates in the sea of red, white and blue streamers that drifted onto the Reliant Stadium court Monday night after a 53-41 victory over Butler in a game that was more slugfest than slamfest.
"I feel like I'm dreaming," said Walker, who scored 16 points and won the most outstanding player award in front of 70,376 fans.
It was hard for anyone to envision, harder still for many to watch. It was the lowest-scoring championship game since 1949.
Butler forward Gordon Hayward's halfcourt shot clanging off the rim to lose a heartbreaker to Duke was the lasting memory from 2010's championship. This season's title game for the Bulldogs featured a number of misses — 52 to be exact — for Butler fans to stew over until fall.
The Bulldogs shot a record-low 18.8 percent, struggling against Connecticut's defensive length and taking shots that appeared aimed at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
"(Coach Jim Calhoun) just told us we'd have to outwill and outwork (Butler)," said Connecticut center Alex Oriakhi, who finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He helped Connecticut outscore Butler 26-2 in the paint.
The Bulldogs joined Michigan's Fab Five squads in 1992 and '93 and Houston in 1983 and '84 to lose consecutive championship games.