When it comes to the 2011 NCAA National Title Game between the UConn Huskies and the Butler Bulldogs, about the only thing people are going to remember is that UConn won the game, 53-41. And frankly, that's probably for the best.
Otherwise, future generations will have to know just how ugly a game it was.
Butler has no reason to hang its head. They went to back-to-back National Title games in a sport where just going to one is a major step for a mid-major program. They've beaten more Top Ten teams and elite programs in the last two years than just about anyone.
That said, they really did stink up the joint Monday night. Butler finished with the 2nd-lowest number of field goals ever made in an NCAA Finals. The only worse shooting performance? Oklahoma State, who only made nine field goals in 1949.
Butler shot 18.8% on the night, far and away the worst shooting performance in Finals history. Butler shot 12-of-64 from the field, 9-of-33 from the 3-point line and 3-of-31 on 2-point attempts. They didn't just have an off-night. They had the off-night to end all off-nights.
O course, to merely say that UConn won because Butler couldn't hit a shot would be a disservice to the Huskies. Kemba Walker didn't have a magical night but he did plenty of things late in the game to make sure his team took over and never looked back. Freshman Jeremy Lamb had a sensational second half and showed the rest of the nation that the Huskies don't go away simply because Kemba Walker is leaving.
UConn played solid defense, blocking ten shots (tied for best Finals performance), including four each by Oriakhi and Roscoe Smith. The defense also shut down Butler's big stars, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack.
It wasn't a pretty game. You certainly wouldn't want to watch it again. But at the end of the day, UConn earned the victory and the National Title. One Shining Moment? The Huskies had had plenty of them.