Kemba Walker Close to Being Crowned King; The Thunder Try to Beat Up Blake Griffin; Derrick Rose Does Terrible Things to Toronto

Monday’s National Championship game is set after UConn and Butler emerged victorious from two hard-fought semi-final games yesterday in Houston. In the heavyweight game, the Huskies took out the Kentucky Wildcats behind Kemba Walker‘s 18 points, seven dimes and six boards. The game was won in the backcourt, as Walker and mates Shabazz Napier (four points) and Jeremy Lamb (12 points) outplayed the Kentucky duo of Brandon Knight (17 points on 6-23 shooting) and Doron Lamb (13 points). Kentucky was down 10 at intermission but came storming back in the second half to tie it up. Down two with the ball and 16 seconds left on the clock, Kentucky came out of a timeout and ran a “play” that saw Knight dribble around for several seconds before passing to DeAndre Liggins for a fadeaway, contested 30-footer that had no chance. Ballgame … Interesting tweet from Darren Rovell during the game: “Jim Calhoun got $27K for getting into tourney, another $27K for making the Final 4, will get $27K more for winning title” … The Final Four Butler/VCU undercard game saw great individual performances from guys on both teams, but in the end, Butler advances because they won the battle of tempo. After the Rams started the game by luring Butler into the overdrive, run and gun style they wanted to play, Butler was able to wrest control of the tempo and slow it down to where they could make it more of the grinding, physical game where the Bulldogs thrive … VCU’s Jamie Skeen was a beast (27 points and six boards), but really, how many guys are there in the country who you can definitely say are better basketball players than Shelvin Mack? The guy is just incredible; he’s made it his business to carry his team to the final game in each of the last two seasons. Yes, obviously last year he had Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward alongside him, but he was still the one making the majority of the big plays. This tourney run has been no different. He had another 24 and six and basically took over the second half, at one point scoring eight unanswered points that pretty much put the game away … Did you hear Charles Barkley say that nothing like the run VCU made will ever happen again? Absurd statement. If anything, with the way college basketball is evening out, it will happen more and more in the very near future … Read More: Derrick Rose does terrible things to the Raptors, the Thunder try to beat up Blake, and ‘Melo shows up on SNL …

Holy Good God did you see the block Derrick Rose had on the Raptors’ James Johnson last night? He tracked down Johnson on a fast break, took off when Johnson put up a lefty floater, met the shot near the top of the box and smacked the s**t out of it while almost smashing his head on the backboard on the way down. Incredible. He also gave the Raps 36 and 10 assists in a 113-106 Bulls W … What started as a blowout of the Clippers by the Thunder in L.A., ended up being a tough, physical battle that saw the Clips turn the tables on the Thunder for the 98-92 upset win. The Thunder tried to go super-physical with Blake Griffin, a ploy that worked for much of the game. While Blake still ended up with 26 and 16 boards, it seemed like he preoccupied by being roughed up and spent most of the time complaining to refs and staring down Thunder players. The Clips took advantage of a sluggish second half Thunder team to scrap back into the game, and then burst ahead when Eric Gordon and Randy Foye unleashed a barrage of threes that OKC couldn’t answer … Zach Randolph (22 points) and O.J. Mayo (20 points) combined to send Minnesota to their 10th straight loss and a half game ahead of the Hornets for the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference … After being taken almost completely out of the game by the Sixers‘s guards for most of the Philly/Milwaukee game last night, Brandon Jennings snapped out of it to dominate overtime, scoring nine of his 13 points in the frame to propel the Bucks to a 93-87 win. The Sixers have clinched a playoff spot, but the Bucks are still scrambling. The win puts them 3 ½ games behind the Pacers for the No. 8 seed. They have some work to do … Did you catch Carmelo Anthony‘s two cameos on SNL last night? His first appearance came on the recurring ESPN skit with Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink. Tom Hanks cameo’d as Stink’s brother and ‘Melo dressed as a female shotputter named “Carmela St. Knix.” ‘Melo then made another cameo with Hanks in the SNL Digital Short, “Laser Cats: The Musical.” … We’re out like Coach Cal.