Connecticut wins. What a terribly ordinary end to a terrifically extraordinary tournament. Without a doubt, UConn has had an amazing run through both the Big East and NCAA tournaments. Nonetheless, Butler's loss, not to mention their lackluster performance in the title game, is a horrible let down.
Let us not forget the astonishing accomplishment of the Butler Bulldogs. An awful lot of top-flight college basketball programs have never made the NCAA finals in two consecutive years. Connecticut, their conquerors this evening, have never done it. The University of Indiana Hoosiers, winners of five national titles, have never done it. Neither Purdue nor Notre Dame has ever made it to the national finals even once, never mind twice in a row.
The question, once again, is how long coach Brad Stevens will stay at Butler. One has to believe that he can pretty much write his ticket for any open job in the country. VCU's Shaka Smith passed on N.C. State. Will they make a play for Stevens now? Is he waiting for some unnamed dream job to come open one day? Bloomington, perhaps?
Both Butler's and VCU's runs this tournament were amazing but one wonders if we should expect more of this in years to come. With the high-profile schools unable to hold onto their superstars, will the smaller programs continually be able to threaten the pecking order with well-coached and experienced teams? Butler has fallen one game short each of the last two years but someday, someone's going to pull it off. Given the current dynamic of the college basketball world, perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised.