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“Early in the season, I had to get adjusted to the speed and really the strength of the other players, and I didn’t do the little things, like set my man up to come off screens,” Lamb said. “As I started to get better, Kemba started trusting me with the ball, started finding me, I started getting plays run for me, and I was able to knock down shots.”

Lamb’s father, Rolando, sent Calhoun home with a last-second shot for VCU in the 1984 NCAA tournament, which the coach said he forgave after the slender freshman hit two big jumpers against Arizona.

Rolando Lamb certainly can rest easy now after his son helped Calhoun become the oldest coach to win a national title at 68.

The younger Lamb and the Huskies didn’t look like they were going to get there at first.

Struggling like everyone else on the floor, Lamb was a nonfactor in the NCAA title game’s lowest-scoring half in 65 years, going scoreless while taking just two shots. Walker wasn’t hitting, either, scoring seven points on 3-of-11 shooting.

When Walker still couldn’t find his shot early in the first half _ he finished with 16 points on 5 of 19 overall _ Lamb took over.

Much more aggressive at the start, Lamb hit a 3-pointer to give UConn the lead, then poked the ball away from for a steal that set up a breakaway dunk. Lamb followed with an alley-oop and dropped a bounce pass to Walker for a layup to put UConn up 39-28. The Huskies kept the lead at double-digits for most of the half after that, sending Butler home with another title-game loss and the national championship trophy back to Storrs.

“Starting the season, yeah, there were a lot of doubters,” said Lamb, who made 4 of 8 shots and had seven rebounds. “Right now, it feels real good.”