2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
|2011 NCAA Men's Division I
2011 Final Four logo
|Finals site||Reliant Stadium
|Champions||Connecticut (3rd title, 3rd title game,
4th Final Four)
|Runner-up||Butler (2nd title game,
2nd Final Four)
|Semifinalists||Kentucky (14th Final Four)
VCU (1st Final Four)
|Winning coach||Jim Calhoun (3rd title)|
|MOP||Kemba Walker Connecticut|
|NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
The 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament involving 68 teams to determine the national champion of the 2010–11 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The 73rd edition of the NCAA Tournament began on March 15, 2011, and concluded with the Connecticut Huskies defeating the Butler Bulldogs, 53–41, in the championship game on April 4 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. This tournament marked the introduction of the "First Four" round and an expansion of the field of participants from 65 teams to 68. The "South" and "Midwest" regional games were replaced by the monikers "Southeast" and "Southwest" for this tournament, due to the geographical location of New Orleans and San Antonio, respectively.
This tournament was notable for its large number of upsets. In the Southwest region, Florida State (a 10 seed), VCU (11) and Richmond (12) made the regional semifinals. This marked the first time in the history of the tournament that a region was represented by three double-digit seeds in the Sweet Sixteen. The tournament featured the first Final Four to not have one of the top two seeds from any of the four regions. VCU tied 11th-seeded LSU in 1986 and George Mason in 2006 as the lowest seeds ever to reach the Final Four. The semifinal game between VCU and Butler, an 8 seed, had the greatest seed number total of any Final Four matchup in history (19, surpassing the previous mark of 14 set in 1980 and matched in 2006). The Final Four as a whole similarly had the greatest seed number total ever (26, surpassing the previous mark of 22 set in 2000). Butler, making its second straight appearance in the final, tied 8th-seeded UCLA in 1980 and Villanova in 1985 as the lowest seeds ever to reach the championship game. The city of Richmond, Virginia came into the national spotlight when its two teams VCU and Richmond made it into the Sweet 16, a feat last achieved by Los Angeles in 2007 with UCLA and USC.
The Big East had a record eleven teams make the tournament. Due to having more than eight teams qualify, it was possible for intra-Big East matchups to occur in the 3rd round. The Big East had two of the eleven teams make the Sweet 16, including eventual national champion UConn. Both teams won intra-conference matchups to advance.
*See First Four.
For the first time, a total of 68 teams entered the tournament. Thirty of the thirty-one automatic bids were given to the programs that won their conference tournaments, while the remaining automatic bid went to the Ivy League champion Princeton, as the conference does not hold a tournament. The remaining 37 teams will be granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee. All 68 teams were announced on "Selection Sunday" March 13, 2011.
The Selection Committee ranked the entire field from 1 to 68. The last four at-large teams selected and the four lowest ranked automatic qualifiers played in a "First Four". The four winners of those games advanced to the main draw of the tournament to play a higher seed. The four lowest ranked teams of the 68 played against each other in a pair of First Four games, with winners advancing to play No. 1 seeds, and the last four at-large teams played in the other two First Four games, with the winners moving on to face the seed they would otherwise be matched up against, as determined by their seed number.
- First Four
- Second and third rounds
- March 17 and 19
- March 18 and 20
- Regional sites
- March 24 and 26
- March 25 and 27
* – Denotes overtime period
First Four – Dayton, Ohio
All games on truTV. First Four winners enter the second round as their respective seed and in their respective region.
East Regional – Newark, New Jersey
|Cleveland – Fri/Sun|
|Tampa – Thu/Sat|
|Cleveland – Fri/Sun|
|Charlotte – Fri/Sun|
West Regional – Anaheim, California
|Charlotte – Fri/Sun|
|Tulsa – Fri/Sun|
|Washington, D.C. – Thu/Sat|
|2||San Diego State||67|
|Tucson – Thu/Sat|
|2||San Diego State||71**|
|2||San Diego State||68|
Southwest Regional – San Antonio, Texas
|Tulsa – Fri/Sun|
|Denver – Thu/Sat|
|Chicago – Fri/Sun|
|Chicago – Fri/Sun|
Southeast Regional – New Orleans, Louisiana
|Washington, D.C. – Thu/Sat|
|Tucson – Thu/Sat|
|Denver – Thu/Sat|
|Tampa – Thu/Sat|
|15||UC Santa Barbara||51|
Final Four – Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
|National Championship Game
|Recap||VCU Rams 62, Butler Bulldogs 70||Reliant Stadium||CBS|
|Scoring by half: 28–34, 34–36|
|Pts: J. Skeen 27
Rebs: B. Burgess 9
Asts: J. Rodriguez 8
|Pts: S. Mack 24
Rebs: K. Marshall 9
Asts: M. Howard 2
|Recap||Kentucky Wildcats 55, Connecticut Huskies 56||Reliant Stadium||CBS|
|Scoring by half: 21–31, 34–25|
|Pts: B. Knight 17
Rebs: T. Jones 15
Asts: B. Knight 5
|Pts: K. Walker 18
Rebs: A. Oriakhi 10
Asts: K. Walker 7
Consisting of #3-seeded Connecticut, No. 4 Kentucky, No. 8 Butler, and No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth (VCU), the Final Four was considered a result of one of the weakest tournament fields in history. Regarding the four finalists, there was widespread belief that none of them were among the best teams in the nation. It was the first time in the tournament's history that a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed had failed to reach the final four. 11th seeded VCU tied a record as the lowest seed to reach the final four. By virtue of their "first four" appearance, VCU became the first team to reach the final four by winning five tournament games.
The second semifinal match was between Kentucky and Connecticut. Connecticut had already defeated Kentucky earlier that season 84–67 at the Maui Invitational. This time, Connecticut won in a close game 56–55, led by Kemba Walker with 18 points. Connecticut were noted for their defensive effort, which held Kentucky to 34% shooting and also held Kentucky scoreless for over 5 minutes during a spell in the second half.
|Box score||Butler Bulldogs 41, Connecticut Huskies 53||Reliant Stadium||CBS|
|Scoring by half: 22–19, 19–34|
|Pts: S. Mack 13
Rebs: S. Mack 9
Asts: S. Vanzant 2
|Pts: K. Walker 16
Rebs: A. Oriakhi 11
Asts: J. Lamb 2
The National Championship game was between Butler, a mid-major university team that was a surprise finalist in the 2010 tournament, and Connecticut, a basketball powerhouse which had previously won the tournament twice under coach Jim Calhoun but had an average regular season finishing 9th in the Big East Conference before winning The Big East Tournament with five wins in five consecutive days (never before accomplished in NCAA history). The championship game was won by Connecticut 53–41. It was a very defensive contest, with Butler having the fewest points in a championship game since 1949. Butler led at halftime 22–19, but suffered in the second half from poor shooting, making only 6 of 37 shots in the second half. Butler's 18.8 percent shooting for the entire game was the lowest ever in the NCAA final. Connecticut contributed to Butler's poor shooting by blocking 10 shots (a championship game record). Butler was led in scoring by junior guard Shelvin Mack with 13 points, while UConn freshman Jeremy Lamb scored 12 points in the 2nd half.
The win by Connecticut completed a season-ending 11-game win streak that began with the Big East Tournament.
The game was widely viewed as a poor quality final. In reference to the game's first half of play, CBS analyst Greg Anthony said, "This is the worst half of basketball I've ever seen in a national championship game."
Record by conference
|Conference||# of Bids||Record||Win %||R32||S16||E8||F4||CG||NC|
- The R32, S16, E8, F4, CG, NC columns indicate how many teams from each conference were in the round of 32 (third round), Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, championship game, and national champion, respectively.
- The America East Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference, Big Sky Conference, Big South, Big West Conference, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, MVC, NEC, Patriot League, Southern Conference, Southland, Summit League, and WAC each had one representative, eliminated in the second round with a record of 0–1.
- The Big East Conference had a record 11 teams in the tournament, which made intra-Big East matchups possible prior to the Elite Eight. There were two such matchups in the 3rd round, Syracuse vs. Marquette and Connecticut vs. Cincinnati. The two Big East teams to make the Sweet Sixteen beat conference opponents to advance to that round.
On April 22, 2010, it was announced that the NCAA had reached a new 14-year, US$10.8 billion deal with CBS Sports and Time Warner-owned Turner Sports (by way of TBS, TNT and truTV) for the rights to broadcast the NCAA Tournament from 2011 until 2024, marking the first time every game in the tournament would be telecast on a national basis.
CBS and Turner pooled their resources for the tournament, with members of the NBA on TNT crew joining CBS's established March Madness broadcasters. Coverage will originate from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City and Turner's Atlanta studios.
The tournament television ratings report shows the tournament had an average of 10.2 million viewers per game, an increase from the 2005 tournament when it drew an average of 10.6 million (6.4 Nielsen rating). The championship game recorded an 11.7 rating and drew 20.1 million viewers.
TruTV, which up to that point had never aired any live sports programming, saw a surge in carriage deals for its high definition feed with several major providers including AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Cox Cable and RCN.
- Greg Gumbel (New York and Houston) – First Four, Second round, Third round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
- Ernie Johnson Jr. (New York and Atlanta) – First Four, Second round, Third round and Regional Semi-Finals
- Matt Winer (Atlanta) – First Four, Second round and Third round
- Greg Anthony (New York and Houston) – First Four, Second round, Third round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
- Charles Barkley (New York and Houston) – First Four, Second round, Third round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
- Tom Crean (Atlanta) – First Four and Second round
- Seth Davis (Atlanta and Houston) – First Four, Second round, Third round, Regional Semi-Finals, Final Four and National Championship Game
- Tom Izzo (Atlanta) – Regional Semi-Finals
- Phil Martelli (Atlanta) – Third round
- Rick Pitino (New York) – Third round
- Kenny Smith (New York and Houston) – First Four, Second round, Third round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
- Steve Smith (Atlanta) – First Four, Second round, Third round and Regional Semi-Finals
- Jay Wright (New York) – Regional Finals
- Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Steve Kerr/Tracy Wolfson – First Four at Dayton, OH; Second and Third round at Charlotte, NC; East Regional at Newark, NJ; Final Four at Houston, TX
Kerr will join Nantz and Kellogg during the First Four, Final Four, and National Championship games
- Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craig Sager – Second and Third round at Tulsa, OK; Southwest Regional at San Antonio, TX
- Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Lesley Visser – Second and Third round at Denver, CO; West Regional at Anaheim, CA
- Gus Johnson/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Marty Snider – First Four at Dayton, OH; Second and Third round at Cleveland, OH; Southeast Regional at New Orleans, LA
Miller will join Johnson and Elmore during the Regional games
- Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner/Sam Ryan – Second and Third round at Tucson, AZ
- Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/David Aldridge – Second and Third round at Tampa, FL
- Tim Brando/Mike Gminski/Lewis Johnson – Second and Third round at Washington, D.C
- Spero Dedes/Bob Wenzel/Jaime Maggio – Second and Third round at Chicago, IL
Round-by-round game schedule
All times Eastern and PM
(Mar. 15 & 16)
(Mar. 17 & 18)
(Mar. 24 & 25)
CBS received the same number of "windows," or time slots, for its tournament coverage as in previous years. However, all games will now be nationally – rather than regionally – televised. The national television broadcasts also allowed for more flexibility in start times. CBS and the Turner networks used the same graphics package and theme music in broadcasting the tournament – the only difference between networks is the logo shown on the score bug. In addition, a banner at the top of the screen displayed the scores of other games along with what network they are being broadcast on. Replays feature all four network logos being shown, and for fair use highlight credits by local television stations and other networks such as ESPN, the Turner network name or CBS Sports, followed by "NCAA" is given as the source. CBS also kept coverage of the Division II final, which is part of the larger contract for this tournament.
Turner Sports aired full-length studio shows before and after each session of play. The pregame show was called Infiniti NCAA Tip-Off and all shows were on TruTV. The postgame show, called Inside March Madness presented by Buick, alternated between TruTV and TBS.
TruTV had also added coverage of the Reese's College All-Star Game.
Number of games per network
- CBS: 69
- TBS: 16
- TruTV: 13
- TNT: 12
Westwood One had live broadcasts of all 67 games. They will be available both on terrestrial and satellite radio outlets, on NCAA.com, and on CBSSports.com. The radio contract was extended in January 2011 for multiple tournaments.
Second and Third round
- Wayne Larrivee and John Thompson – Second and Third round at Chicago, IL
- Kevin Kugler and Pete Gillen – Second and Third round at Cleveland, OH
- Scott Graham and Kevin Grevey – Second and Third round at Washington, D.C.
- Dave Sims and Bill Frieder – Second and Third round at Tucson, AZ
- Ted Robinson and Tom Brennan – Second and Third round at Denver, CO
- Brad Sham and Reid Gettys – Second and Third round at Tulsa, OK
- Kevin Calabro and Will Perdue – Second and Third round at Charlotte, NC
- Gary Cohen and Kyle Macy – Second and Third round at Tampa, FL
- Ian Eagle and John Thompson – East Regional at Newark, NJ
- Kevin Kugler and Pete Gillen – Southeast Regional at New Orleans, LA
- Kevin Harlan and Kevin Grevey – Southwest Regional at San Antonio, TX
- Wayne Larrivee and Bill Frieder – West Regional at Anaheim, CA
- Kevin Kugler, John Thompson and Bill Raftery – at Houston, TX
All games are expected to be streamed at NCAA.com or CBSSports.com, as in the past; with the new rights deal, NCAA.com and the game streaming is now managed by Turner Interactive. The iPhone app which allowed streaming of games on the iPhone in previous years, and had cost about ten dollars, has received two upgrades: it is compatible with iPad, and it is now free of charge. However, with the CBS-Turner agreement allowing all games in the tournament to be available on a national basis (see above), Mega March Madness, a DirecTV-only service, has been discontinued.
- Canada: TSN acquired Canadian rights for the tournament, rights which were previously held by The Score. This is apparently the result of a larger international rights deal between the NCAA and ESPN International (which owns a minority interest in TSN). TSN had its own studio programming hosted by Dan Shulman and James Cybulski, and game coverage came from CBS and Turner. Unlike the Score, which had whiparound coverage, TSN and TSN2 showed entire games. Sometimes, both channels aired games, but on Friday of the first weekend, no games were shown due to previous programming commitments on both channels. TSN.ca also streamed first-round games to those with Canadian IP addresses.
- Philippines: Basketball TV planned to broadcast the NCAA Tournament using the American feed.
- Worldwide: The NCAA.com video and audio streams were available with no blackout restrictions anywhere in the world.
- 2011 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament
- 2011 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament
- 2011 NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Tournament
- 2011 NCAA Men's Division III Basketball Tournament
- 2011 NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
- 2011 National Invitation Tournament
- 2011 College Basketball Invitational
- 2011 CollegeInsider.com Tournament
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- 2011 NCAA Tournament TV Schedule
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