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The Clock Struck Midnight!
April 8, 2010 - Kim Collette
Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke University Blue Devils have done it again! And...the only way I could be happier....well wait...there really isn't a way I could be happier!
Let me start by saying I already know people either love the Blue Devils or hate the Blue Devils (much like my beloved New York Yankees). The week leading up to the Final Four games, all we heard about was how the Butler Bulldogs were living up to the team in the movie Hoosiers. And...we also heard how the Blue Devils didn't belong. When both teams advanced to the National Championship game, it became the heroes versus the villians, David versus Goliath, Middle America versus the rich. It was the good guys Butler versus the evil empire in college basketball, Duke. But.....as fate would have it....those evil "Dookies" are my team. I wanted the big bad college to beat up on those upstart Bulldogs. So....I am going to defend my team and their National Championship.
Butler was, without question, the sentimental favorite heading into the game. The Bulldogs are a "mid-major" school from Indianapolis. They actually play their home games in the same gym the movie Hoosiers was filmed. Their play was better than I gave them credit for. Butler played tough defense and even found ways to score. After watching the game Monday night, I have a lot of respect for the Bulldogs. They definitely weren't "lucky" in beating Syracuse, Kansas State, and Michigan State. They are a very sound and talented basketball team. But to the victors go the spoils. And.... those spoils belong to Duke!
The Blue Devils do deserve the so-called "spoils." I have watched tons of Blue Devils teams play over the years. And...even as a fan...I can safely say that this is no way the most talented team to play on Coach K Court. But, in my opinion, they will go down as the most defensive minded, hustling and unselfish team that played in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Dick Vitale summed it up in an article I read on ESPN.com. He said, "Duke embodies the word T-E-A-M: T for togetherness, E-for effort, A-for attitude and M-for mental toughness." I couldn't have said it any better!
Some "pundits' said the Blue Devils didn't even deserve a #1 seed and that they would be the first #1 bounced from the tourney. Boy were they wrong! My argument is....the Blue Devils and Coach K had no say in which seed they got or which region they were placed in. Another complaint I heard about the Blue Devils is that they had an easy route to the final. My argument here....the Devils did their job. They beat every team they had to play. And....no matter what you think....every team knows they have to win 6 games to become the National Champions....regardless of their seeding. Here's a good one too...Duke had no hand in beating Georgetown, Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse or Ohio State. Of course they didn't. They weren't even in the same region! All the Blue Devils did do was take care of business... which those powerhouse teams did not and got booted from the tournament. The nay-sayers are now saying Duke won by a fluke, that they could not have beaten Kansas or Kentucky. Well....maybe....but we'll never know. The fact of the matter is Duke won. They won fair and sqaure. This whole David versus Goliath storyline also bugs me. Butler has an enrollment of roughly 4,000. The big, bad Blue Devils enrollment? Only 6,400. Yes. 6,400 NOT 64,000. And....did you know that Butler was a preseason top-10 team? They (thankfully in my heart) fell one bounce short of beating the big bad Dookies. David versus Goliath....I think not!
The Butler Bulldogs were the "Cinderella" of this year's tourney. The clock finally struck midnight for them this past Monday night. You can hate the Duke Blue Devils for whatever reason you want or have. But....no one should degrade their championship. Duke took on all the opponents that were asked of them....and beat them all. Congratulations Duke Blue Devils!
Until next time friends!
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The 2010 National Champions