The 2011 National Championship Game last night was so atrocious that it was like watching two blind people play Double Dribble on the old Nintendo. People love to root for the Cinderella upsets, but when they happen after the first round you end up with a joke of a Final Four like we did this year. Toss out the fact the Connecticut Huskies won a 53-41 shoot-out (insert joke) to capture the title, they were still the 9th ranked team out of the Big East. Say what you want, but they play Duke, Kansas or Ohio State one hundred times they lose 70 or 80 of those games. Butler, or as they are known as now"Brick-a-Saurus-Rex" , hit 12 of 64 shots for an amazing 18.8%. Virginia Commonwealth had to win a play in game to make the tournament, so we can leave it at that. Kentucky, who I am a fan of, rounds out the Final Four making the tournament as a #4 seed. No Duke, no Ohio State, no Kansas, no Pittsburgh. Instead we get stuck watching #3 seeded Uconn (which is mainly based on the 5 wins in 5 days to win the Big East title) and the #8 seed Butler for all the marbles. Ouch. Historically, the Final Four weeds out the weak and we are left with the best of the best and get to close it out watching the elite teams battle for the title. To understand how cheated I feel in what the Final Four consisted of in 2011, let me break down the past 10 years:
2010: #5 Michigan State, #5 Butler (runner-up), #2 West Virginia, #1 Duke (champion)
2009: #2 Michigan State (runner-up), #1 Connecticut, #1 North Carolina (champion), #3 Villanova
2008: #1 North Carolina, #1 Kansas (champion), #1 Memphis (runner-up), #1 UCLA
2007: #1 Florida (champion), #2 UCLA, #2 Georgetown, #1 Ohio State (runner-up)
2006: #4 LSU, #2 UCLA (runner-up), #11 George Mason (blown-out), #3 Florida (champion)
2005: #1 Illinois (runner-up), #4 Louisville, #1 North Carolina (champion), #5 Michigan State
2004: #2 Oklahoma State, #3 Georgia Tech (runner-up), #1 Duke, #2 Connecticut (champion)
2003: #3 Syracuse (champion), #1 Texas, #3 Marquette, #2 Kansas(runner-up)
2002: #1 Maryland (champion), #1 Kansas, #5 Indiana (runner-up),#2 Oklahoma
2001: #1 Duke (champion), #3 Maryland, #1 Michigan State, #2 Arizona (runner-up)
The fact is having an elite team go down is exciting too watch, but in the end it does not change you miss getting to see the top squads battle it out. Two of the Final Four teams were not even ranked in the Top 25 and only Connecticut was ranked in the Top 10 (#9). So root all you want for a team like Butler, but missing out seeing Duke vs. Kansas is not worth having the excitement of a below average team playing for the title.
Next season I would gladly pass on watching all the upsets happen to not get stuck with the garbage we all had to endure last night. Think about it. A team who had to win a play in game was up against a team not ranked in the Top 25 to decide who played for the The 2011 National Championship. That is not exciting to me. That is a joke.