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NCAA Championship Game 2011: UConn Favored As Butler Gets A Second Chance

The 2011 NCAA championship game was guaranteed to include one insurgent and one established power -- the only question was which teams would fill those roles. The Butler Bulldogs reached their second-straight title game by outlasting VCU, while the Connecticut Huskies held off the Kentucky Wildcats late Saturday.

So much for that thing about the Big East having a bad postseason, I guess. And so much for Butler being a one-hit wonder. Brad Stevens has a chance to be regarded as perhaps the best coach in the country, while Jim Calhoun can turn a lot of attention away from his pending suspension.

If Player of the Year voters were able to factor conference tourneys and the NCAA tournament into their voting, Kemba Walker would be the hands-down honoree. Walker's only got so many more NCAA Tournament minutes left in him, which, great! This is the last game, and then young Kemba can take a very well-deserved rest.

Keep in mind Butler has been just as hot down the stretch as UConn has, which is saying something. Matt Howard has been the awkward but relentless engine, becoming college basketball's most annoying player to root against. That's a good thing, right?

The game is scheduled to tip off at 9:23 pm ET on CBS. UConn is currently favored by 3.5 points.

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