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NCAA Championship Game 2011: Butler Scores With More Than Just Shelvin Mack

Ahead of the 2011 NCAA Championship Game, Mid-Majority Madness has a great piece up on how both Butler and UConn score, and the differences between the two teams are interesting. Walker is obviously the key weapon for the Huskies, but as good as Shelvin Mack is, he's hardly the same kind of consistent scorer. Instead of focusing on one guy, Butler has a variety of options.

Butler doesn't have anyone on the roster that is nearly the singular weapon on a consistent basis like Walker has been for Connecticut, though Shelvin Mack has shown on many occasions that he is more than capable of carrying an equal load to the All-American. Both he and senior Matt Howard split the heavier scoring load (about 23% of total points each), while Alex Smith and Shawn Vanzant have been the secondary scorers throughout the season. These numbers tend to hold true when examining the usage rate metric as well with Mack and Howard both above 26% (heavy usage) and no other member of the roster posting a mark above 18%. Slow and steady has been the key for Butler, as the Bulldogs have managed to slow down the pace against every team they've faced in the NCAA Tournament and avoided turning the ball over - the combination has yielded wins even on nights when they haven't shot well.

If Butler are going to win tonight, they're going to need to force UConn to play at their pace, on top of getting offensive contributions from multiple players. Mack is an outstanding player, but he's not going to do all of the scoring by himself.

For more on this game, UConn fans should join The UConn Blog, and Butler fans should join SB Nation Indiana and Mid Major Madness.