Saturday, April 02, 2011

Live blogging the men's NCAA basketball Final Four (with postgame annotation in red from the official play-by-play sheets and box scores, linked below).

Game 1 (play-by-play, box score):

Virginia Commonwealth unleashes an 11-0 run after falling behind 5-0.

Butler ties game 15-15 with 8-0 run.

Butler closes the first half on a 19-8 run to lead 34-28.

VCU scores first 7 points of second half to lead 35-34.

I haven't seen any statistics lately, but the three-point shooting in this game seems uniformly awful. [VCU shot 8-for-22 for the game (.364), but 4 of the made threes were in the first 7:00 of the game; Butler hit 8-for-23 for the game (.348), so you can imagine how low the team's shooting percentage was before the upcoming barrage of 4 made threes!]

No sooner do I make my last comment than Butler hits 4 three-pointers, helping the Bulldogs to a 52-45 edge. [Zach Hahn 14:01, Hahn 13:31, Shelvin Mack 11:16, Mack 9:57]

Announcer Jim Nantz points out that Shelvin Mack has scored Butler's last 10 points. A VCU three [Joey Rodriguez 8:33] keeps the Rams within 54-50.

Matt Howard, 11-of-12 for the game at the line, puts home a bunch of free throws to keep Butler comfortably ahead, 69-59 with 30.5 seconds left.

It's Butler, 70-62.

Game 2 (play-by-play, box score):

Kentucky on an 8-0 run to close within 31-29 of UConn, early second half.

A tight game most of the second half, with UConn generally leading. The Huskies win 56-55, although it was 56-52 with two seconds remaining and Kentucky made a three-pointer at the buzzer for window dressing.

It's been a strange season for UConn (game-by-game log). The Huskies started out 17-2 (5-2 in the Big East), then won only 4-of-11 conference games to close the regular season. UConn then captured the Big East tournament with five wins in five days, and now has won five straight NCAA tournament games to make Monday night's final against Butler.

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