What a game. Last night’s NCAA Men’s Championship basketball game was easily the best tournament final that I can recall. You couldn’t have asked for a more tightly contested game — but the wrong guys still won in the end. Sure, Duke was the more talented team and was the clear favorite. But Butler wanted it more. You could see it in their eyes more. You could see it in their play more. And you could see it in the gasps of all the new fans Butler made as Gordon Hayward’s final shot from half court almost banked in — a shot which would have gone down as the greatest in history had it dropped.
It was certainly a tough night to swallow for Hayward, a star who made a last minute shot to bring his high school a State Championship. He managed to create just enough space to get off a contested jumped near the hoop which would have tied the game at 61, yet just missed. And then came the half court shot — one so close that it only served to tease Hayward even more as to what could have been.
Nobody likes seeing the favorite, Duke nonetheless, with a team full of over talented, over privileged white boys take out the Cinderella — the team with the 32-year-old coach. Although the wrong team won, what a game. What a night for college basketball. There is clearly no need to expand the tournament to 96 teams.