The 2010 Final Four Championship
The Duke Blue Devils are National champions defeating the Butler Bulldogs in the NCAA Basketball Championship 61-59. They call it March Madness for a good reason. It was David against Goliath. It was exciting. It was heartbreaking. It was as good as it gets in the World of Basketball. In the end, Duke won it’s 4th Championship since 1991 and its legacy as a basketball dynasty continues.
NCAA Final Four
First of all, let’s set the stage for the 2010 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament.
- Duke was the only Number 1 ranked team to make the Final Four.
- Butler was a #5 seeded team knocking out #1 Syracuse in the Sweet 16
- Duke had beaten all their opponents easily by at least 7 points and up to 29 points
- Butler’s coach Brad Stevens became the 3rd youngest coach to make the Finals
- Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski is arguably the best coach in basketball coaching the US Olympic team to a Gold Medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics
- Butler was considered a “Cinderella Story team” up against the heavily favored Duke (Las Vegas favoring Duke to win by 7 points)
Despite the lob-sided predictions for Duke to dominate the game, the game was so close. There were 15 lead changes and 7 ties throughout the whole game. In the first half, the big story was Butler’s Avery Jukes subbing in for starter Matt Howard, who got into early foul trouble. Avery scored 10 points in 4 minutes including some stellar defense.
Duke’s main advantage was the silky smooth shooting from their starters. Kyle Singler was the main star of the game for Duke and named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Not only did he score 19 points, but he managed to slow down Butler’s shooting star Gordon Hayward , allowing him only 10 points. Gordon’s shooting percentage was lower than 20% and Kyle stopped him from scoring on two big plays in the last minute of the game to keep Duke in the lead.
Small School Sorrow
Before the game, Butler dedicated their journey to the Final to all the small schools who are never given any credit to make it to the Finals because of their lack of Superstars (who always choose to go to the bigger schools). Unfortunately Duke proved once again that #1 ranked teams finish on top the majority of the time.