You Hate To See This
Tough, tough loss for the Butler Bulldogs tonight. Even though Duke was in control for the entire game, I was still convinced that Butler would come through with something on their second-to-last possession. Hate to say this, but I think Brad Stephens got out-coached by Krzyzewski. Duke executed two beautiful out-of-bounds plays for open layups, and they had that devastating shot by (I believe) Brian Zoubeck. Butler had two opportunities to score on an inbounds play with 13 seconds left; they came up empty the first time and chose to just get it in the second.
Two interesting things about this game:
1) It might have been the first time in NCAA history where participants in a national championship game had to attend class on the day of that game. Butler players who had class before 12 o’clock had to go.
2) As far as I could tell, there were no dunks in this game (I have to give the credit to one of the people I was watching with for pointing this out). I don’t know if the lack of dunks was due to the impressive defense played by both teams or a lack of athleticism. Probably a combination of both.
Anyway, I’m sure Butler isn’t too disappointed. They have essentially everyone coming back, so they should be a force next year as well. It’s just tough to see a mid-major team get so close to winning only to lose by two points (that play at the end where Zoubeck slammed Howard to the ground could have been the difference, or that fade away jumper that Hayward just missed). Oh well. There’s always next year.
UPDATE: Luther Vandross should never not sing “One Shining Moment.” This needs to be in writing.