T Nation

Duke vs Butler Thoughts


#1

Surprisingly, there is zero chatter on this board regarding the National Title game.

My initial reaction is that it was one of the best tournament games ever (maybe even one of the best college basketball games ever?). The game was just as intense at the end as it was the beginning.

It was awesome to see two class teams go at it that use these crazy concepts like defense, boxing out, good shot selection, you know, fundamentals.

It won't surpass Duke vs Kentucky from 1992, but it is definitely in my top five.

Having followed Duke for the last 21 years, I was relieved at the outcome.


#2

I thought it was a great game. My husband is a Duke fan, so I am a Duke fan by marriage. I think had Butler won, it would be the greatest tournament of all time.

I know some people say Duke had an easy road to the Final Four, but they beat the hell out of WV, and they peaked when they had to. They weren't the best team in the nation all year, but they were the best when they had to be.


#3

^Duke sucks! How ever it was a great game & probably K's best coaching job.


#4

Maryland swallows.


#5

Texts from Last Night:

(862): win or lose for butler, i'm still masturbating to brad stevens tonight


#6

Awesome game. Butler's got a lot of heart but Duke had the talent. I'm usually a fan of Scheyer but he was forcing his shots and it was pissing me off. They were doing great in getting the ball down to the 7ft'er and he was converting. I don't know why they didn't keep going to him. They could've worked the inside/out game and gotten better looks from their 3 shooters that way.


#7

I don't call you out!


#8

Your husband's a smart man.

I think Duke's road to the Final Four was as difficult as any other team. Baylor was one of the most athletic teams in the tournament and WV was "better" version of Baylor.

West Virginia also beat one of the favorites to win the National Title.

You are right, Duke turned it on when they had to.


#9

This.


#10

Duke's size gave them the advantage off the boards, Butlers hustle kept them in it till the end.

Damn good game, a lot of fun to watch. It screwed my bracket though, I had the lead but my next competition had the Blue Devils winning it all. Eff-word.

I don't think Butlers' head coach will be coaching at Butler for much longer, tell you what.


#11

Butler's head coach needs to finish puberty. He looks SO young!


#12

Yeah he's 33 I think.


#13

I am a Louisville fan and as such have a great respect for Nolan Smith. I was very happy to see him get a NC like his dad did at UL, though I think the pressure of the game got to him and he didn't play very well. I don't like Duke or Coach K, but it's impossible not to respect that program. I go to UK, and watching the circle-jerk over the biggest slimeball in college basketball makes me sick to my stomach. I'm glad a team that stands for "doing it the right way (though I hate that cliche)" won it.

Predictions for next year? I think the field will be wide open again, so it should be another crazy year. Look for the resurgence of UNC...


#14

Predictions for next year already?

Man, that's tough sledding. I mean who's to say St. Mary's wont put it all together, or Notre Dame go further because they got so embarrassed. I think Michgan State will still be in the mix, North Carolina, probably Kentucky. Really tough to say.


#15

If some of Duke's underclassman stay, Singler and Smith, for example, they will be really good next year. They have some good recruits coming in and I believe they have a transfer that sat our this year.


#16

I acutally think it's the reverse. Butler had the talent, Duke had the heart. This is the most mentally tough duke team that I've seen, and probably one of the least talented. Coach K usually keeps his teams in tip top shape, but I think having a weak conference this year kept them from burning out like the big east teams.

Duke haters even me really cant' complain about duke getting calls, they hardly got any which is the reason it was such a good game. Them not getting calls cancelled out the fact that butler was half duke size.

Outside of size Butler was by far the more talented team though. Hayward and Howard were both predicted to go higher than anyone on duke's team, nobody mentioned Nolan smith this year before the tournament started. Combination of conditioning and fortitude and really won duke that game.


#17

MARY-LAND FTW!!!!


#18

Next year they are expanding the field which i think is stupid. That will make the conference tournaments not as important.


#19

The refs let the game get real rough, I thought it made it more exciting. Both teams had to work for it.

Side note, anybody catch the Butler player absolutely level the Duke player right as the last second shot was goin up? That hit was all vengeance.


#20

Agree that Hayward was the most talented player on the floor (offensively I think he can be comparable to Josh Howard or maybe even Turkoglu if his ballhandling improves) but I can't see Howard being anything in the pros. He's such a below-the-rim player, which can work if you have the bulk of a guy like Cousins (who is also surprisingly unathletic) but at 6'8", I don't think he's going to cut it in the pros unless he develops a deadly midrange game like Ryan Gomes. As much as I'm not a fan of Singler, he's a much better NBA prospect than Howard. I think even Nolan Smith has a better shot of sticking in the league than Howard, although I'm not optimistic about either guy.

I'll also say this: I could see Zoubek getting drafted in the league and sticking around. He's got that legitimate 7'+ size and a wide frame. He's kind of like a shittier version of Brendan Haywood when he came out: great frame and good on the offensive glass, but not much else. Most of those guys wash out, but they are worth taking in case they manage to develop a complete game like Haywood or Kaman.