Duke-Butler: Five Thoughts after a Thrilling Championship Game

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst IApril 6, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05:  Brian Zoubek #55 of the Duke Blue Devils is interviewed in the locker room after they won 61-59 against the Butler Bulldogs during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

1. I think this was Coach K’s best coaching job of his career. He has had teams with much more talent not even make it to the Final Four, much less win it all. This group was the definition of a team: guys who knew their roles and how to execute them.


2. Even with the majority of their team coming back next year, Butler will be very hard pressed to make it back to the Final Four. The Bulldogs will get everyone’s best shot next season.


3. Two calls late both went for Duke that could have changed the outcome of the game. The charge drawn by Jon Scheyer was a very close call that went against Butler and took a basket away. Also, the clear out of Matt Howard by Zoubek on the offensive rebound attempt could have been the senior’s fifth foul. Zoubek was the guy harassing Hayward’s potential go-ahead fade-away on Butler’s next possession.


4. Speaking of Zoubek, I thought he was Duke’s MVP on the Tournament. Kyle Singler got the Most Outstanding Player (MOP), but it was Zoubek’s improvement that won Duke the title. The leap he made defensively from junior to senior year was gigantic.


5. Finally, who would have thought after two early exits in a row to teams with much more athleticism that Duke would win the title a year after losing their two most athletic players—Gerald Henderson and Elliot Williams?