Throw on your Duke hoodies — the Blue Devils are the national champs. Gordon Hayward missed a 15-foot fadeaway that would’ve given Butler a late lead and barely missed a half court heave at the buzzer, allowing Coach K & co. to escape with a 61-59 win — Duke’s fourth title and first since 2001.
As much as I hated to say it, I had Duke running away with this one coming in. Fifth-seed Butler held tough though, cutting a late deficit to one with a chance to win with the shot clock shut off. Sure, they didn’t get it done, but losing the final to Duke isn’t all that bad for a private school with 4,200 students playing about five minutes away from their home court. If that alone doesn’t cut it, just go watch Hoosiers.
Junior forward Kyle Singler led the way for Duke with 19 and nine rebounds, with guards Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith chipping in 15 and 13, respectively. Hayward and Shelvin Mack each had 12 to lead Butler.