The championship game is set, as Duke & Butler advance. After a tournament in which my picks were mostly horrible, I got off the schneid yesterday hitting both winners, although the size and scope of Duke's win caught me off guard. The Blue Devils played a fantastic all-around basketball game. Forget what Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg said about this being their best game of the tourney. This was their best game of the entire season. Lest any Duke-haters complain of officiating bias, let's note the Dookies attempted only nine free throws. But they hit 52 percent from the floor. They buried 13 treys. And their Triple S package hit on all cylinders, as Singler, Scheyer and Smith combined for 63 of their 78 points.
Butler continued its Cinderella run to a national title in their own hometown with an ugly 52-50 win over Michigan State. This was a game in
which the Spartans held the Bulldogs to 30 percent shooting, while hitting 42% themselves. They won the rebounding battle, albeit not by the big margins they are accustomed too. It was turnovers that did them in, sixteen of them to be precise. Korie Lucious had filled in admirably for Kalin Lucas up to this point, but finally hit his wall, coughing it up five times. Butler follows in MSU's footsteps from last year, as they play a national final in their home city against the best team in the ACC.
Not yet sure who I like in the final game and will be back with that tomorrow. Final MLB previews will be up mid-afternoon over at The Baseball Notebook, in anticipation of Red Sox-Yanks tonight.