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NCAA Basketball

UConn vs. Butler for All the Marbles

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Tonight, sadly, we put an end to the NCAA Tournament. But we end it on a good note. One of the most exciting players in the nation, Kemba Walker, leads the UConn Huskies into the Championship game against what may easily be considered the most exciting team in the nation, the Butler Bulldogs.

Chat About the Bulldogs Here / Chat About the Huskies Here

Both teams took exciting and interesting routes to get to this point. Some may even argue that neither team was expected to get this far. But regardless of all the prognostications it has all led to tonight’s showdown between clearly the two best teams.

Brad Stevens has coached Butler to an improbable Championship game for the second year in a row and seems to have a clear cut leader in Shelvin Mack for his now “experienced” Bulldogs to lean on.

Chat about the NCAA Championship Game Here

Mack is echoed by Matt Howard who not only leads the Bulldogs in Points per Game but also in rebounds. He is clearly their low post presence and will be counted on to come up with the biggest game in his career.

On the opposite side of the court there is Player of the Year Candidate Kemba Walker who at times seems to have single-handedly led the Huskies to victories. But as UConn has reeled off an impressive 10 game winning streak in tournament play we have learned with each passing game that Kemba Walker is not alone at UConn. He has help.

The development of Jeremy Lamb and Alex Oriakhi over the tournament has taken tons of pressure off of Walker and made UConn a more potent team. More complete. More capable.

So Ranterz we ask you who will win tonight? And our poll below will let us know who the Ranterz believe will be crowned the 2011 NCAA Basketball Champions.

Who Will Win Tonight’s NCAA Championship Game?
Butler Bulldogs
Connecticut Huskies

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Gary Magnus

    April 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    UConn takes it. Much abused Big East will walk away cutting down the nets and putting Jim Calhoun up their with the elite when all is said & done with this win
    Kemba will not be denied

  2. Carrie W

    April 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I’m not gonna doubt Brad Steven’s glasses winning streak! He is undefeated since switching lol. I’m sticking with the underdog, Butler. I think they want it just as bad and they have just as much experience as UCONN. I didn’t think they would be as good this year without Gordon Hayward and they proved me wrong. Go Butler.

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NCAA Basketball

Rick Barnes Says He Would Have Left Tennessee if UCLA Paid Buyout

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Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes could have been the next head coach for UCLA, instead of Mick Cronin, if only the Bruins were willing to open up their wallets.

Barnes says that if UCLA would have promised to pay Barnes’ $5 million buyout, he would have left Tennessee to take the job at UCLA.

“I think I would’ve been the coach at UCLA,” Barnes said (h/t ESPN). “I’ve said that to people before. I really felt at that time that’s what would happen.”

Barnes was honest and open with his decision process during the news conference, saying that he struggled with making a final decision due to financial matters.

Barnes has since agreed to a new deal with Tennessee that will pay him $4 million per year before increasing to a $6 million annual sum by the end of the contract and provide more cash for his assistants.

“I’m supposed to be at Tennessee,” Barnes said. “And it’s really above and beyond the basketball program. I’m in love with this community. I’m in love with this state. I just think we got a lot of great things going on in this town.”

“A lot of praying went into it, I can tell you that,” Barnes said. “There was a lot going on. When you get down to a situation like that, it has to make sense from a financial standpoint. Bottom line is we couldn’t work it out with the buyout.”

Barnes also informed UCLA that he would not depart Knoxville without talking to athletic director Phillip Fulmer and others in the community.

I told them point blank, ‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with my team,'” Barnes said. “‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with people here that have been really good to me.’ … I said, ‘You just can’t say send a plane tomorrow and we’re leaving. I’m going to make sure this is done the right way.'”

“There was one time in my mind I truly felt that’s what would happen,” Barnes said about potentially taking the UCLA offer. “It got to that point where I felt like my prayers had been answered.”

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NCAA Basketball

The Madness is Underway

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NCAA

As we inch closer to selection Sunday, many conference tournaments are underway finding teams who will automatically make the NCAA Men’s basketball. Here are the teams that currently in the tournament:

Atlantic Sun: Liberty

Big South: Gardner–Webb

Colonial: Northwestern

Horizon: Northern Kentucky

MAAC: Iona

Missouri Valley: Bradley

MEC: Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley: Murray State

Patriot: Colgate

Southern: Wofford

Summit League: North Dakota State

Summit League: Saint Marry’s

Out of the 32 conferences with automatic bids in the tournament, 12 of them have been clinched. All the until selection Sunday the remaining 20 conferences will have their tickets punched. Who will that be? Stay tuned!

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NCAA Basketball

Tennessee Basketball Ranked 4th In (Early) Preseason Top 25

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A school built on football lure now has a thriving basketball team to get behind. In a early CBS basketball poll, the Volunteer squad is ranked 4th in the preseason. This should bring relief to a fan base whose struggled with a lackluster football team in recent years.

Under Coach Rick Barnes (SEC Coach of the year 2017)  the Vols went 26-9 last year, won a share of the regular season SEC title and reached the final of the SEC tournament. Tennessee should return most of their pivotal pieces for the 2018-19 season.

Admiral Schofield (2017-2018 ALL SEC second teamer) who tested the NBA waters has returned for his senior year to play along side Grant Williams (SEC player of the year) and Kyle Alexander. If they can stay healthy along with the supporting cast, this team has a legitimate chance to reach the final four.

According to Andy Katz, “Tennessee is the team to beat in the SEC this year,” and did I mention Coach Barnes recruiting is nothing to take lightly. Recently committed 5 star combo guard, Josiah James added his name to the class of 2019 and pushed the Vols recruiting into the top 10 nationally.

Although it’s too early to tell how this season will play out its certain the hype is warranted and reaching heights it hasn’t seen since the Bruce Pearl era.

Could it be!? Tennessee – a basketball school?

Follow the journey when the Volunteers tip off against Louisiana Lafayette on November 9th.

 

 

 

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