UConn won the 2011 NCAA Tournament championship Monday with a 53-41 victory over Butler.
Given the sloppiness and poor shooting featured in the game, one could argue nobody left Reliant Stadium a winner that evening. Tuesday, when the final USA Today/ESPN poll was released the recently-crowned Huskies garnered 30 of 31 first place votes. The dissenting opinion? It belonged to Northern Arizona head coach Mike Adras, who put Ohio State at the top of his ballot.
“I voted for who I thought was the best team in the country based on the entire body of work during the season,” Adras said. “I believe it is Ohio State. I want to congratulate Connecticut for winning the NCAA tournament. They deserved it.”
Not surprisingly Adras is taking some heat for his choice. While there is no rule stating the tournament champion must be voted number one by the coaches, it is clearly a generally understood fact.
However, that fact fact is wrong.
Does anyone really think Butler, especially after that last game, is the second best team in the country? Or Virginia Commonwealth the sixth best squad? Or how does Duke, who got blasted by Arizona in the tournament, finish a couple spots ahead of the Wildcats?
The merits of a post-tournament poll notwithstanding, the point is nobody can take the championship away from Connecticut. They have been the best team over the last month or so, and deserved to win Monday night (or did Butler just deserve to lose?). They’re just not the best team in the country.