However, I am not going to break down the game or Butler's run. I am just saying that it was an incredible run, one that allowed me to check off a bucket list item and have a legitimate rooting interest in the outcome. While I wish the outcome had been different, to say Butler didn't belong, or that somehow Duke 'let' them stay in the game by their play is moronic. The officiating, while maddening, was inconsistent for both sides. Duke got some patented 'well, it's Duke' calls early. In the second half, Butler seemed to get those calls. Butler fought back and were shooting for the win because they earned the chance to do that by their play. They never gave up and until I saw Hayward's shot bounce out of the rim, I thought they would win.
In the end, I have to say congrats to Duke. I have never cared for Duke, but they absolutely earned this win. Having them win does provide the added satisfaction of having all of the talking heads that said they were over-seeded at 1 be dead wrong. They are a terrific basketball team, well coached and they play solid fundamental basketball.
As for Butler, they are young and will be back. They won't sneak up on anyone next year, but they will be back. Congrats to Coach Stevens and the Bulldogs. Great season and well done.
|When the road ended.|