CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 20: Aaron Craft #4, Jared Sullinger #0, Jon Diebler #33, William Buford #44 and David Lighty #23 of the Ohio State Buckeyes look on from the bench late in the second half against the George Mason Patriots during the third of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

NCAA Tournament 2011 Update: Monday Will Be A 'Dog-Day Evening' As Bulldogs And Huskies Play For Title

The NCAA tourney trophy will most-definitely go to the dogs this year as Huskies battle Bulldogs

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Butler Vs. Connecticut In The Final; Bulldogs Reach Title Game For Second Straight Year

The Butler Bulldogs disposed of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams 70-62 yesterday, and the Connecticut Huskies held off the Kentucky Wildcats 56-55, to set up the NCAA title game on Monday night.

This will be the second year in a row for Butler in the championship game. Quite an achievement for the team from Cleveland State's Horizon League.

Here is a recap of the Huskies' win from Yahoo! Sports, and for the other recap, and here is a look at the Butler victory.


2011 NCAA Tournament Schedule: Connecticut Looks To Make It 9 Straight Wins Against Arizona

The second spot in the 2011 Final Four will be filled when UConn takes on Arizona from Anaheim, CA this evening. The Huskies and Wildcats have plowed through their competition so far, including Arizona’s beatdown of Duke on Thursday Night. Which red-hot team will move on to the Final Four?

7:05PM et: (5)Arizona Wildcats(30-7) Vs. (3)Connecticut Huskies(29-9) – CBS

People wondered if UConn could keep it up after they won five straight games to win the Big East Tournament. So far, so good for the Huskies and superstar in the making Kemba Walker. Walker scored 36 points in UConn’s win over second-seeded San Diego State on Thursday, his seventh game with at least 24 points in the Huskies’ last nine outings.

“It’s never unexpected to me. It’s joyous to me,” Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. “It’s always going to have a special place for me because of the group, because of the way we started the season. … Nothing seems to get them down. The kids really do want to win and listen, and this group has done as good a job as any team I’ve had in a long, long time.”

Like the Huskies, the Wildcats had their ups and downs this season but are playing their best ball at the right time.

Derrick Williams believes Arizona grew into its talent down the stretch, and nobody did it better than the high-flying forward from nearby La Mirada, Calif., himself, scoring a career-high 32 points during the Wildcats’ evisceration of Duke.

Williams knew Arizona’s history when he decommitted from Southern California along with Jones and Solomon Hill to join the Wildcats two years ago — and he’s also talked to fans hungry for another title because their T-shirts from Arizona’s 1997 championship are getting a bit tight.

“It was only a matter of time before we bought into what the coaches were selling us,” Williams said. “It’s a chain reaction, and you can believe in what they’re saying when you’re at a winning program like ours.”

MY PICK – Arizona – Did everyone see what the Wildcats did to Duke? Enough said.



2011 NCAA Tournament Schedule: Butler Looks To Return To Final Four Against Florida

Two teams with plenty of NCAA Tournament experience will battle for the first spot in the 2011 Final Four when the Butler takes on Florida from New Orleans, LA this afternoon.

4:30PM et: (8)Butler Bulldogs(26-9) Vs (2)Florida Gators(29-7) – CBS

Think about for a moment what Butler – from the Horizon League – is trying to do. A win today over the Gators, and the Bulldogs are back to the Final Four for the second consecutive year. That’s a tall task for the most prestigious of programs.

“The cool part is — our guys — it’s not above their imagination,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said of upsetting one higher seed after another. “It’s just what they think that we have to do next.”

As for Florida, coach Bill Donavan has the Gators back as the cusp of the Final Four for the first time since the Gators won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

Florida has size, athleticism and balance. Four starters — guards Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton, along with center 6-foot-10 center Vernon Macklin and 6-9 forward Chanlder Parsons — have averaged double figures in scoring. Alex Tyus, the one who hasn’t, was the best player in Florida’s regional semifinal victory over BYU on Thursday night, with 19 points and 17 rebounds.

MY PICK – Florida – Sorry, Butler, but the magic has to stop somewhere. I will say, however, that should the Bulldogs win and shock the world one more time it could change the way we look at college basketball – especially the mid-majors – forever.



NCAA Tournament Scores: Kentucky Edges Cold-Shooting Ohio State 62-60

And then there was one.

In one of the most back and forth games you will see all tournament, the fourth seeded Kentucky Wildcats got the better of top ranked and top seeded Ohio State on Friday night. Guard Brandon Knight hit a shot with a little more than five seconds remaining to put Kentucky up 62-60 after Jon Diebler hit an NBA-range three pointer to tie the game. Both teams had timeouts remaining, but neither team chose to use any.

Ohio State missed a three pointer at the horn to win the game, and their journey will end at the Elite Eight.

Jared Sullinger had another excellent performance with 21 points and 16 rebounds on the night, and Diebler added 16 including four three pointers. Still, it was a very poor shooting night for the Buckeyes, who are one of the more efficient offensive units in the country. They shot a mere 32.8 percent from the field, and it proved to be their downfall.

For Kentucky, Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins picked up the slack for poor shooting performances from Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight. The two big men combined for 32 points and 16 rebounds, but it was Knight who hit the game winner.

Kentucky will face North Carolina in the elite eight, a game where the winner will be the sole owner of the most victories in NCAA tournament history.


NCAA Tournament Scores: Ohio State Buckeyes Vs. Kentucky Wildcats Halftime Update

The Kentucky Wildcats are getting offense from an unlikely source in their Sweet 16 showdown with top-seeded Ohio St. Buckeyes. Behind 12 points and 7 rebounds from Josh Harrellson, the Wildcats are tied with the Buckeyes 30-30 at the half.

Ohio State led by as many as 7 in the first half, but could not remain in rhythm. After shooting the lights out in Cleveland during the 2nd and 3rd rounds, the Buckeyes shot just 30.8% in the first half – just 2-6 from three point range.

Jared Sullinger has 10 points on just 2-8 from the floor. Sullinger is 6-6 from the free throw line where the Buckeyes as a team shot 12-15. Kentucky, meanwhile, shot the ball pretty well in the first half – 44.4% – and out-rebounded the Buckeyes 18-14.

The difference in the game heading into the second half, however, could be fouls. The Wildcats have five players with two fouls at the break, including guard Brandon Knight, Harrelson and forward Terrence Jones.

Ohio State committed just four personal fouls while Kentucky was whistled 11 times.

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