Wow speaking of things coming full circle, how about zoubek's play in the last minute of the game. After a tumultuous career at duke he makes some huge plays at the end. And he had the ball in his hands on the line at the end of the game.
This was an amazing game. Butler played a great game and tested Duke more than any other team this tournament. Butler went out and played a great game on defense and excecuted very well in crunch time. This was about as close as a game could get.
Now to adress another point. Everyone who hates duke is going to post something about how terrible the refs were this game.
There is NO way you can pin this win on the refs. Give Duke the credit they deserve. They earned this national championship.
As for the officiating in this game, yeah it was pretty bad, but it was called bad both ways. Evenly bad. They made quite a few questionable calls down the stretch and there were alot of no calls. Actually Zoubek ended up about 4 feet under the basket on each play because howard pushed him in the back. They didnt call it once. There were a number of chippy plays throught the game where there was no call, which actually made the game better and more physical.
I'd like to give props to both Duke and Butler for putting on a great show in as good a game as you could hope for. This was a great game.
Congrats Duke on the championship! i'm so happy right now lol
man, both those last 2 shots by hayward were off by inches. I thought it was a mistake to intentionally miss the ft by zoubek. Make and the worst possible scenario is a tie, miss it and a 3 wins the game. With over 3 seconds reminaing, the amount of time coming off the clock is not worth that risk. Those two teams are very evenly matched.
Congrats to Duke. They played GREAT defense on Hayward. They face guarded him, denied the ball and kept different defenders on him.
I'm proud of Butler though. Nobody thought they'd compete with Duke. The "experts" picked against them damn near every game of the tournament. I wish they'd have won, but this loss doesn't sting at all. They laid it all on the line. They didn't play their best offensively, but they could've very easily won this game. Hayward was THAT close on those last two shots. Inches away from being a storybook type of ending for Butler and Indiana.
At the end i think Hayward might have had time to pass it to Hahn for a quck catch and shoot, but still that was a close shot.
yeah, this morning dickie v said he would be shocked beyond belief if butler won. I think they quieted all their critics with this game.
When does next season start?? I can't wait.
that was probably the best shot Butler could hope for.....
Dickie V made me absolutely sick with his article on ESPN. Giving Butler credit for their run, while also lowering what they'd done at the same time. Talking about how Syracuse and Michigan State were missing players when they played Butler... However he said absolutely nothing about how Purdue was missing their best player when they played Duke... Or how West Virginia was missing their starting point guard and lost their best player with almost 10 minutes to go in the game.
He also said there was absolutely no way Butler could hold Duke under 60. They were damn near pretty close. Butler is a GREAT half-court defensive team. They also competed with Duke on the boards.
I think it's time that people start recognizing Butler as one of the best teams in America and not just a Mid-Major team that got lucky and made it. They'll be right back in the tournament next season IF Hayward returns. They return everyone, except Jukes. They're also bringing in two very nice recruits, that should be able to play immediately.
For as great of a game as Singler had, he completely choked in the last two minutes. He drove the lane head down/ out of control on that charge --- and either he or Zoubek had a communication error on Howard's lay-up. I'm not sure if the basketball gods intervened to make that game increasingly dramatic... but Singler hits that shot (that close) with a hand in his face 4 times out of 5, and wide open 19 times out of 20. That's his shot. I honestly don't think he's been that open on a jumper all year. Thoughts on why he uncharacteristically faded away? I'm attributing it to nerves. Maybe he was just shocked he was that open? It led to great ending, though....
In response to your question Mr. Funke, which no one has answered, it's because Singler lacks the nerves and the guts to be the sort of basketball player a father can be proud of. Everyone knows you should keep your head up coming into the lane for a lay-up looking for a teammate open for a long two, but Singler doesn't do this. Why? Because he doesn't have the guts. Afraid of getting a poke in the eye or something like that. I remember Bob Pettit would often get bit by players while posting up but he always kept his head up and followed through on the play. He would often refuse to shoot free throws if no blood was drawn from the foul. I hope that Mr. Funke knows of Pettit even though he may be a bit before his time because I think today's players and fans can learn a lot from a real mensch like him.
The scary thing about this final matchup is....
Think of these teams next year. Hayward may leave from butler but that would leave Veasely, Howard, and mack, still good enough for a run. Hayward coming back would be huge.
Check out duke next year. Smith shouldnt leave, but singler may. Scheyer, zoubs and Thomas are graduating. Next year's team feature's arguably the nations best freshman pointguard, seth curry (in his first year at liberty he was every bit as good as steph), Andre Dawkins who's game should expand quite a bit as he works on his dribble. and those are just the guards. The plumlees will continue to develop and Mason could be a VERY good player next year. I think Ryan Kelly will be a huge piece next year as he will provide someone to stretch the D with his great shooting touch. I think Josh Hairston can contribute his freshman year too. He is a very good midrange shooter.
The one thing duke really loses is Zoubek on the offensive glass. If they can find a way to punish the boards next year i think they will become an even better team.
I know Zoubek is a big guy and all, but don't you guys think that it would've been better for Hayward to lean in and draw a foul?
Actually... Veasley is a senior too I think. Veasley and Jukes are gone.
except they had a slow whistle on Zoubek....
so does anyone else think it was dumb for zoubek to intentionally miss that second ft?
Extremely dumb, it is only smart to miss the final free throw when only up 1. Then no matter what the 3 beats you and you don't allow the other team the advantage of being able to take their time to inbound the ball and get a guy heading down floor. Up 2 you try and make it so they should have made it to push the lead to 3. That shot almost went in and had it Zoubek would have looked even dumber than he already does. Did not enjoy the premature fist pump after sinking the first free throw either. Seemed kinda classless, all the bandwagon fans got their dream tonight a duke win. We all know you are bandwagon, it is one of the top 5 graduate schools in the country and I know half the retards I see wearing Duke shirts don't even know where Durham North Carolina is on a map. I died a little inside tonight haha.
That was definitely a mistake. It almost costed them too. Inches off.
I can't stand Duke either, but you have to give them their credit tonight. They defended well, hit the offensive glass in the second half and made shots.
A few plays before that zoubek swung his elbow up high and knocked matt howard right into the ground when going for the rebound - there was no call but the ball ended up going off zoubek's foot ... it would have been nice to have seen that call made, but i think down the stretch they pretty much swallowed their whistles, at least in the last minute ... but they did it both ways i suppose
Hats off to both teams... Great game... Both teams really deserved to win and they are very much hungry to win it all... It was a game for the ages and it should go down as one of the most thrilling championship games ever in the NCAA tournament...
Butler, nothing to be ashamed of... You fought through all the odds and made Duke fight for every inch of their life to survive...
Duke, congratulations on the win... You have a terrific coach in Coach K... Darn lucky!
Have love when refs took away Hayward 3 point play chance when refs said was charge. Killed there steam at that point.
That was a great game, and Butler is probably going to be a mid-major school that's on the map with high-major schools, similar to Memphis and Gonzaga especially if they tie up Coach Stevens for a long time. Talk about a GREAT coach. That was about as evenly matched a game as anyone could've asked for.
And Kyle Singler improved his stock ALOT with his play. He outplayed Hayward, especially in the 1st half. I would've got a better thought on the matchup, but Duke switched on all of Butler's screens, so he wasn't matched up with his for possessions at a time for the most part.
Nolan Smith is a great player. Has anyone improved as much as he has since last season? I mean he was a transition scorer and perimeter defender his 1st 2 seasons at Duke, now he is a great shooter from mid-range and 3 (even though he was off this game) to add to that. If only he was a PG, he'd be worthy of a top 20 pick IMO.
Brian Zoubek was valuable this year. He's not talented or agile, but he's tall and can rebound with the best. He also is an unselfish passer. Not an NBA player, but he was valuable to Duke.
"Singler lacks the nerves and the guts to be the sort of basketball player a father can be proud of."
Probably the best thing I've ever read.
This Alvy guy is honestly ruining my life...I found this post, and it's even better: http://www.nbadraft.net/node/21296#comment-281452. I haven't laughed this hard in a looooong time.
I need to meet this guy.