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Northern Arizona Coach Mike Adras Voted Ohio State Number 1 Over UConn

Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras was the only voter in the ESPN/USA Today poll not to vote tournament champion UConn the number one team in the final poll of the season. Instead, Adras voted Ohio State number one and Kansas second in his ballot, followed by UConn.

Explaining his decision, Adras said “I voted for who I thought was the best team in the country based on the entire body of work during the season. I believe it is Ohio State. I want to congratulate Connecticut for winning the NCAA tournament. They deserved it.”

The 30 other voters in the coaches’ poll put UConn first followed by Butler, and Kentucky. The other Final Four participant, VCU, ended up sixth in the final poll, with Ohio State and Kansas ahead of them.

Adras must be reading LBS because we wrote the exact same thing a week ago saying none of the Final Four teams deserved to be the national champion. Was UConn the best team in the country? I still say no. Was Butler the second best team? Far from it. And was Kentucky the third best? Were all these teams better than Ohio State or Kansas? Not in my eyes, and I’m glad at least one person was thinking outside the box and voted accordingly.

Jim Calhoun Loves to Be Hated

If the 2011 NCAA Tournament consisted of a stronger field of teams, UConn probably would not have cut the nets down on Monday night.  Teams like Ohio State, Duke, and North Carolina losing made the Huskies’ path to the Final Four a bit friendlier than it may have otherwise been.  Still, it was not easy.  After winning five games in five days at Madison Square Garden, no one believed Connecticut would have the energy needed to get through the grueling Dance.  They powered their way through March, proving all the doubters wrong.  Above all else, the run proved Jim Calhoun wants you to hate him.

Make no mistake about it: Calhoun has few fans outside the state of Connecticut.  Even in Connecticut, the 68-year-old Boston Irishman has had disagreements with the governor, his athletic director, and the the coaches of other UConn programs (cough, Geno Auriemma, cough).  The more people who want Calhoun to lose, the more motivated he becomes to win.

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Jim Calhoun Must Have Given UConn Players Muscle Milk at Halftime

This moment of madness brought to you by Muscle Milk®. It’s powerful protein. Drink. Evolve™

The UConn Huskies won their third national championship in school history Monday night, defeating the Butler Bulldogs 53-41. UConn started off the game slowly and was actually trailing 22-19 at the half, but a superb second half effort gave them the win. Butler disappointed with one of the poorest performances we’ve ever seen in a title game, and a lot of it can be attributed to UConn’s defense.

Muscle Milk, which is sponsoring this story, reminds us that anyone can excel on any given day and that Muscle Milk can help you become the best YOU can be. UConn coach Jim Calhoun must have either given his players some Muscle Milk shakes at halftime or lifted their spirits with an inspirational speech, because their defense was impenetrable in the second half.

Check out some of these mind-boggling statistics that tell the story of the game better than any words can:

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UConn National Championship T-Shirt for Your Dog Is Available

When the Huskies win a national championship, the dogs come out on top. That’s right, they’re offering championship t-shirts for pet dogs as Darren Rovell pointed out on twitter. Here’s a picture of a dog (not a Husky) modeling the shirt:

They try and make a buck on everything so should even be surprised by this? Of course not. Here’s a link to the product in case you want to purchase it.

March Madness Upsets Have Wrecked Everyone’s Brackets

Oy. The agonizing few days remaining in March. Unless you went to a college situated in a Confederate stronghold, you probably lost interest in the NCAA tournament sometime after the tip-off of the opening games. If you’re looking for solace in the lingering NBA regular season, I hear sadists are doing good things these days. The first pitch (and subsequent 50-game suspension) of the Major League Baseball season is still hours away. Then, what is the agoraphobic sports fan left to do with the remaining moments in March?

Unless you’re the President of the United States or some kind of prognosticating gerbil, hamster, or chinchilla, your college basketball bracket is currently about as worthless as Soviet money. But don’t despair. Nostradamus would probably not have had VCU in his Final Four (and only two in 5.9 million really did!). (One wonders whether he would have been able to find truTV, either.) You probably would have needed a DeLorean to have figured Butler would be making it this far again. (Great Scott … Stevens.) Nothing short of Bill and Ted’s phone booth would have given a mere mortal any chance of predicting that Ohio State would be out in the third round. Thus, one is left with a piece of paper with tournament picks that is about as meaningless as one of those Presidential Physical Fitness participant certificates handed out for finishing the mile in under a fortnight.

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Someone Bet $10 on VCU to Win it All, Stands to Make $50,000

The run VCU has been able to make to the Final Four in Houston has become — as expected — a complete sideshow.  The university recently shelled out $2,000 to let Dick Vitale know he was wrong and students and fans alike have been partying in the streets since the Sweet 16.  Only two out of 5.9 million ESPN brackets picked the final four correctly, and VCU is a huge reason why.  Whether you believe the Rams deserve to be playing for a championship or not, their run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament has been one of the most remarkable in history.

According to the USA Today, via Deadspin, one brave soul strolled into the Las Vegas Hilton earlier this season and decided to risk $10 of his or her hard-earned money on a whim.  That whim was that the VCU Rams would win the National Championship in 2011.  The odds? 5,000 to 1.  Therefore if VCU cuts down the nets next week in Houston, that person stands to win $50,000.

Other sportsbooks in Vegas said they took “significant” futures action on VCU at 175-1 and Butler at 150-1 before the tournament began.  There are still two games remaining before any serious cash would need to be shelled out, but book managers are admittedly nervous about the potential of having to pay some huge winners.

Granted, there were probably a ton of lost bets with people betting on the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds to win specific games and the National Championship, but I’m sure the Vegas sportsbooks would much rather pay those who bet on UConn and Kentucky to win it all than they would those who went out on a limb for VCU and Butler.

Kentucky, UConn, VCU, or Butler Don’t Deserve to be National Champions

In less than a week, one of the four remaining teams in the NCAA tournament is going to be called the National Champion for the 2011 men’s basketball season. You may as well prepare for it now because either UConn, Kentucky, Butler, or VCU fans will have an infomercial running for the next six weeks encouraging them to pick up their championship gear.

Think about the following. Our national champion is either going to be: a three seed that was exactly average in its conference, going 9-9 good for a 9th place finish; a four seed that failed to win its conference division, lost six out of 16 games in conference, and dropped games to two 7-9 teams; an eight seed that lost nine games including ones to a team that went 2-16 in conference and another that went 16-16; or an 11 seed that lost 11 games including ones to a 3-15 team, and two 6-12 teams.

At this point you may think that I’m selectively picking out the flaws on the resume of these teams but that’s part of the point; a national champion should have very few flaws because it earned its way to the title game based on excellence throughout the regular season.

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