Jim Calhoun says he has always been the most comfortable around his players. So in a moment of history and accomplishment, he did what came naturally.
He sought out his players. He hugged them. He whispered to them. He found them all, every last one of them, from Kemba Walker, his resplendent star, to freshman Jeremy Lamb, who came up huge on college basketball’s biggest stage.
In those closing moments, when it was clear Calhoun was about to win his third national championship, becoming just the fifth man in the history of college basketball to win at least three, he pumped a fist in the air, then doubled-pumped. And that was his show of emotion. He was the flinty New Englander to the end.
His Connecticut Huskies defeated Butler 53-41 in a national championship game of grit and elbows Monday night in front of 70,376 at Reliant Stadium.