Butler radio announcer sees 'dream come true'

HOUSTON --- When Brandon Gaudin was hired as Butler's radio play-by-play announcer just months after last year's improbable run to the national championship game, everyone joked that he missed his shot to call a Final Four for the Bulldogs.


Lucky for the 27-year-old Butler graduate, the Bulldogs made it back this season.

"This is a dream come true for me," he said. "To just get the job at the school was always a dream for me and now to be on the grandest stage calling the best game in college basketball, it's almost surreal."

Gaudin won a broadcasting contest in 2005 that included a live appearance on the CBS telecast with Greg Gumbel during the national championship game. Since then he has spent several years in different jobs before landing his coveted gig with Butler.

CAREFUL KEMBA: Connecticut star Kemba Walker took a moment to admire the Bob Cousy Award he earned as the nation's top point guard on Monday morning, but forgive him if he didn't pick it up.

With the national championship game against Butler on Monday night, there was no chance UConn coach Jim Calhoun was going to risk his team's unquestioned leader pulling a Ty Lawson .

The former North Carolina point guard won the same award two years ago but tweaked his back when he lifted the hefty trophy to pose for pictures. The incident forced Lawson to undergo treatment in the hours leading up to Tar Heels' showdown with Michigan State in the title game.

BLUE 2 FEVER: The Butler bandwagon keeps on growing, and it's being driven by a guy with four paws and fur.

Blue 2, Butler's English bulldog mascot, has picked up almost 1,000 new followers on Twitter since Saturday's win over Virginia Commonwealth.

Smart gets deal to stay with rams

RICHMOND, Va. --- Virginia Commonwealth University coach Shaka Smart is staying with the Rams after leading them on a surprising Final Four run.

The school said Monday that Smart has agreed to a new eight-year contract at VCU. Details of that deal will be released once the contract is signed.

"True to form, Coach Smart's primary concerns were about his players, coaches and the overall support of the basketball program," VCU athletic director Norwood Teague said in a statement. "We are honored that he has decided to stay a VCU Ram. He exemplifies everything that is right about college athletics, and VCU is ecstatic about the future under his leadership."

The second-year coach led VCU from one of the "First Four" games in the NCAA Tournament to upsets of prominent programs including Georgetown, Purdue and Kansas to reach the Final Four.

VCU (28-12) became only the third No. 11 seed to get that far, losing to Butler 70-62 in Saturday's national semifinals.

-- Associated Press