Why hast God forsaken us?
I really want to believe there's a terrific payoff somewhere down the road for the players, coach, and fans of Butler University Men's Basketball team because I'm left wondering just how the universe, in it's infinite and expansive wisdom, saw fit to allow, on one of the biggest sporting stages in these 50 states, the worst display of shooting a basketball there has ever been. And it didn't happen to some anyteam at some random anytime... noooo. What is now the most infamous of least prolific shooting nights was bestowed upon a fan-favored, unlikely underdog team, on the biggest stage of Intercollegiate sports events in this country.
Dear Universe, you suck.
I understand that Connecticut's defense was aggressive and difficult to deal with, so is most any team's who make it to that level, but seriously? 18.8% total shooting percentage from the field?! I honestly believe that, had I played for Butler and U Conn had agreed to let me shoot undefended from beyond the half-court line, I could equal the accuracy of the Bulldogs last night. That, of course, is a ridiculous analysis but it IS equalled by the profound ridiculousness that is 19% from the field in the NCAA final. This had to be more than just players ineptitude, there must have been other netherforces at work. I doubt I'm alone in this assumption.
Nobody wanted to see Butler lose. Nobody wanted to see Butler play poorly, but what we saw was the equivalent of being forced to watch torturous things happen to a loved one. In slow motion.
Having played sports, been a fan of sports, and watched sports for the better part of 3 decades, and one who pays attention, I can spot trends. I could see in the first half one of those 'winners trends' and the signs of a Connecticut win. Seemingly a majority of loose balls, rebounds, and other assorted intangibles bounced Connecticut's way. Loose ball scrambles, bouncing off a foot or knee of multiple players and into the hands of a U Conn player. I recall a point early in the second half when a U Conn player inexplicably lost control of the ball as he was ready to jump for an easy layup, only to have a Butler player grab the loose ball and subsequently allow his own knee to free the ball from his grasp and out-of-bounds. It's those freakish little events that so often portend the outcome of a sporting event. Most people don't even notice them.
A vast sporting majority wanted Butler to win last night. A vast force in the universe seemed to conspire and see to it that most of us were grossly disappointed with the alternate outcome and forced under sheer optimism of recovery to watch. For this I call into question the God, Gods, or Universe.
Perhaps there is a golden reward for this bunch of quality kids who study and play hard in Indianapolis. I just hope I live to see it someday, because then I'd know the Universe does truly seek balance.