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NCAA Championship Game 2011: Butler Wins Underdog Derby

No. 8 Butler won the Underdog Derby Saturday, dismantling the No. 11 VCU Rams in the Final Four for the right to be outseeded by No. 3 UConn in the 2011 NCAA Championship Game. The Bulldogs reach the national championship for the second season in a row, having lost to Duke out of the No. 4 spot in 2010. For UConn, who bested the Kentucky Wildcats by a single point, it's the first trip to the championship game sinc etheir wins in 2004 and 1999. Since Jim Calhoun arrived in 1986 they've reached the Final Four four times, all since 1999. 

Butler had been ranked just three times before the arrival of coach Brad Stevens—including the year before Todd Lickliter departed for Iowa—and they've been ranked as high as 16 every year since. But 2011 was shaping up to be his worst year with the program before their memorable NCAA Tournament run; they got just a week into the season before leaving the AP rankings for good. Apparently Horizon League performance is no adequate measure of March Madness performance...