This time the Butler didn’t do it! Itwas the little Devils from Duke that have once again climbed to the top of the Mountain, but it wasn’t without a lot of drama. It came down to the wire and down to the last 3.6 seconds and a Hail Mary half court shot that just rimmed out and was mere inches from rattling in and taking over the video of "The Shot" that CBS would play every March of Christian Laettner taking that in bound pass from Grant Hill in the 1992 NCAA Tournament vs Kentucky.
The National Championship game was one of the best finals that has been played in recent memory. Not only was it a close game but it was also a well played game. There was offence, defence and grit. If you look at the game from just a seedings point of view this was a mismatch but Butler came into the game with a win streak in the high 20’s and were the hottest team in the nation..Butler. The coach looked younger then half the players on his team, he makes a respectable $400,000 a year but put up vs Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s $4.4 Million there is a slight discrepancy. In that same light Duke spends $400k per player on the basketball team, Butler spends $400k for their entire team. I think coach may be in for a bit of a raise in the very near future. The good thing for Butler going as far as they did is all the good coaching vacancy’s are filled so they shouldn’t have to worry about loosing theirs...at least this season. I am guessing a 33 year old who just took a "Small" school to the finals would and will be in high demand.
Kyle Singler was the difference in the game offensively and it was the contributions that Zoubek gave as the big man in the middle for Duke that clogged things up and changed the game in Duke’s favour. What Butler has going for it is that they can return a majority of their team and if Hayward stays they may be even better next year. A scary thought even if the tournament expands to the proposed 96 teams next season.
I guess that there now has to be a question to the average fan: What will you remember the national title game for? Duke winning their 4th title or Butler losing?
Either way this was one of the best tournaments in recent memory. It is always great but this one seemed to be a bit of a topper. This is why it is the greatest self contained tournament/sporting event.