How cool is it that Butler made it to the NCAA basketball championship game against Duke? Usually the title game is some combination of two prominent schools and if a team is a surprise combatant, it's still from a big conference.
Butler breaks the mold. How many casual fans have heard of their conference, the Horizon League, prior to this tournament? How many can name another school from it? One may have a lesser chance of remembering the name of Butler's coach than spelling Duke's.
So this is all very neat stuff. But I'm afraid to say from this vantage point (a.k.a. "the wonderfully comfortable couch") it looks like a Duke blowout. And nobody, except maybe gamblers and maybe denizens of Durham, North Carolina, wants to see Duke easily dispose of the Bulldogs.
(Aside: Everyone before the tournament was talking about Duke's "easy" path to the Final Four. But how about Michigan State's path? Thanks to other teams, they averted having to play Ohio State or Kansas. They faced off against a 12, a 4, a 9, and a 6 before losing to Butler, another 5. That has to be some type of unkept record. By comparison, Duke had to defeat third-seeded Baylor and second-seeded West Virginia, and did so quite handily.)
Isn't this how the story ends pretty much all the time in the title game? Gander at how top teams fare against lesser-branded opponents when a championship is at stake:
2009: (1) UNC beat (2) Michigan State
2002: (1) Maryland beat (5) Indiana
2001: (1) Duke beat (2) Arizona
2000: (1) Michigan State beat (5) Florida
1997: (1) Kentucky lost to (4) Arizona
1995: (1) UCLA beat (2) Arkansas
1994: (1) Arkansas beat (2) Duke
1992: (1) Duke beat (6) Michigan (although technically this game NEVER HAPPENED)
1988: (1) Oklahoma lost to (6) Kansas
1987: (1) Indiana beat (2) Syracuse
1986: (1) Duke lost to (2) Louisville
1985: (1) Georgetown lost to (8) Villanova
All right, some poorer schools can beat 1-seeds when it counts. Just make sure it's the '80s or Lute Olson is your coach, and you'll be fine.
Hey, I'd love to see the mid major marauders send the Dukies back to their erratically-designed city road structure. Considering they were able to take down Syracuse and Kansas State, it's possible. But unfortunately the Blue Devils have too much size, too much talent, and a coach who has more experience coaching than BU's coach has experience living.
If this game ends quickly (which it should), you still might have time to catch the end of Dancing With The Stars.Powered by Sidelines