The clock finally struck midnight for the Butler Bulldogs. After taking a 6 point lead early in the second half against the Connecticut Huskies, the Bulldogs ran out of gas while the Huskies put their foot on the gas, holding Butler to just 18 2nd half points in winning the 2011 NCAA Championship 53-41. The win gave the Huskies 11 straight wins in elimination games, including the 5 wins in 5 days to win the 2011 Big East Tournament last month.
Kemba Walker, the star for the Huskies all month long, scored 16 points for the Huskies while the Huskies defense held the Bulldogs to just 18.8% from the field – a new Final Four low. Butler his just 12/64 shots and was outscored 34-19 in the 2nd half.
Huskies F Jeremy Lamb rebounded from a scoreless first half to score 12 points in the 2nd half to ignite the Huskies in the second half. The Huskies held the Bulldogs to just one basket over 13 minutes in the second half to put the game away.
Butler guard Shelvin Mack ran out of clutch shots, scoring 13 points on 4-15 shooting. The Bulldogs shot 9-33 from three point range while making just 3 2-point shots all night.
The win was the 3rd title for Huskies coach Jim Calhoun who – at 68 – became the oldest coach to win the National Championship.
For Butler, it is the 2nd straight bitter defeat in the National Championship game. The Bulldogs lost to Duke 61-59 last year in a classic title game. The 2011 version never lived up to the 2010 game, but Butler still did the Horizon League proud.