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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Duke tradition to meet ‘The Butler Way’

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— Little Butler has faced one big test after another in its magical run through the NCAA Tournament.

And the biggest awaits in Monday night’s title game: Duke, winner take all.

“One thing about us is there’s never a sense of fear,” Ronald Nored said. “We’re confident in everything we do.”

They’d better be. Butler (33-4) is playing for its first national title — in its hometown no less — and its proud fans will be thrilled no matter what the final score is. Duke (34-5) is a three-time national champion.

The Blue Devils are rolling, too, crushing a West Virginia team that many considered the best of the Big East.

“As a Butler coach and a Butler fan, I have no doubt I’m going to be proud of them at the end of the game,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said after his squad’s 52-50 victory over Michigan State on Saturday night. “I think you take some peace with that and say, ’Give it all you can.’ That’s what our guys are trying to do.”

Though it is led by Gordon Hayward, the baby-faced, smooth-shooting forward who could play on any team, at any school, the Bulldogs pride themselves on winning “The Butler Way.” That’s defense, ball control, discipline and teamwork, and all of it was on display against the Spartans on Saturday night.

Comments

Jeff Kilgore 11 years, 8 months ago

I have a feeling that bylate Monday night, Butler will have been introduced to the Duke way, and I'm no Duke fan.

Goldenhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

I knew Duke was going to win this thing shortly after the brackets were released. The NCAA select committee has to be loaded with ACC cronies. Duke had the easiest region. They also had their referees in the Baylor game. They let Zoubec run wild after his 4th foul and quickly fouled out the Baylor center. If your not a Duke fan don't watch the game. If a bunch a fans boycott the championship game maybe this will send a message to the NCAA. I am praying Butler wins. It aint't going to happen with this sham.

gardenjay 11 years, 8 months ago

There are larger shams than this one. Fortunately more attention is being paid to the total lack of respect some programs show their student athletes.

West Virginia just reported a 33% graduation rate for its white athletes, and 0% for its African American athletes. West Virginia was pretty good this year (!), but what about the lives of their players?

The one-and-done policy of allowing colleges and universities to be used by the NBA to 'improve stock' of the elite 'student athletes' is hardly the largest problem, although it certainly makes the college experience seem pretty artificial. This is a problem. But shame on KUAD for every student athlete, some disadvantaged, that they use without trying their hardest to educate and graduate that student. Much as I can't stand Duke, you have to look at this part of the equation and see if we are up to their standards.

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