Posts Tagged ‘Blue Devils’

Heartbreak! Butler Hits the Wall, Scheyer, Singler and Smith Deliver for Coach K

In march madness on April 5, 2010 at 8:26 pm

A great final.

Duke 61, Butler 59

Butler did everything they had to do to win this one – kept it close, got Duke’s big man Brian Zoubek in foul trouble, played ferocious D, forced Duke to turn to only their stars for points – and the Bulldogs even got the ball into their own star’s hands, the Horizon Conference POY’s hands, with 13 seconds left.

Gordon Heyward, after his signature behind the back dribble, was pushed outside. He tried then to go baseline and hit the game-winner, but his high-arcing shot rimmed out.

Heyward was going for it all the way, and it looks like even the Duke players knew it – Zoubek drifted to the baseline to double-team leaving Matt Howard open under the basket, with 3 seconds on the clock.

Had Heyward dumped it, would they have had the lead? We were screaming at him to pass it. (sigh).

Instead of course, Duke rebounds Heyward’s miss. Butler fouls. A made FT makes it a 2pt. game. And a missed one left Heyward with the chance only to make a desperation heave – a shot which tantalizingly hit the backboard square and then the front rim hard …

and with a CLANG! Butler’s storybook season came to an end.

YH does feel the zebras favored Duke, and particularly Scheyer, on exactly three calls: Scheyer got continuation at the 7 minute mark on a foul that’s clearly on the floor; the charge called on Hayward when Scheyer was definitely moving (noted by broadcaster Clark Kellog) took away a 3 point play and gave Duke the ball; and Scheyer got away with offensive goaltending on the putback they praised.

But the Blue Devils weren’t lucky in this one, they were good.

Brilliant tactical move by Coach K at the end of the game to switch D’s on the inbound pass, forcing Butler to burn their final timeout, unable to get the ball in bounds. Not only did it defuse Butler’s offense striving for the winning bucket, but without that timeout, Butler had no play after Duke’s made FT at the end of the game. That was a crucial switch up at a critical moment that paid off huge for Coach K – master of endgame and inbound. (By contrast, Scheyer and Singler punked the Butler D twice on inbounds plays for easy twos).

Butler couldn’t get Matt Howard started which was critical because he was getting open looks. The Bulldogs struggled to hold onto the ball in the second half, and too often got jammed up by the 7’1″ Zoubek and Singler in the paint.

The Devils – and particularly Singler – matched the defensive effort of the Bulldogs with blocks and steals aplenty, and they won this scrap by making shots that Butler missed. The Blue Devils kept their cool.

Congratulations to the Duke Blue Devils, NCAA March Madness 2010 Champions.

and to the runner-up Butler Bulldogs – for the last several weeks you were America’s team. We fell in love with you and admired every minute of tough team defense. Thank you so very much for an amazing, valiant, impressive effort to win it all against the odds.

Brad Stevens, YOU ARE THE MAN!

[By the way, Stevens’ substitutions down the stretch were stunning – repeatedly, on a play-by-play basis, bringing Jukes in on offense and Howard back for D resulted in a four point turnaround at one stage – tactically brilliant].

YH thanks all you college hoops fans for joining us –

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Butler versus Duke in the Final: We said it back in February, Butler’s Better Than Duke

In march madness on April 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Yesterday’s Hoops is so lucky that the first year we exist, the March Madness was filled with great play, upsets, drama and fun times – a great year, thanks for joining us.

And hey, do go back and look at our entries since February 10, when we launched, up to now. It has been a real ball and we’ve been right on point. We really hope you will subscribe based on our quality and join us for coverage of the NBA Playoffs.

That said, in terms of college ball, after a year of amazing play and upsets galore, it comes down to a Butler team that deserves it and a Duke team that doesn’t.

Butler 52, Michigan State 50

Butler continued to play team defense and score by moving the ball inside and out. Perimeter D was again awesome and focused defense on Durrell Summers, who was held to14 points.

“A lot of people want to shoot the last shot in the big game,” Butler G Ronald Nored said. “We want to guard the last shot.”

sick. And again, we believe Butler is better than Duke and said it weeks ago.

Yesterday’s Hoops, February 21, 2010

When YH said it, back on February 21st, everybody made fun of us – not laughing so much now, are ya?

Duke 78, WVU 57

A lot of people believe that half the Final was decided on  selection day.  And everybody who knows March Madness knows it. It’s funny to read and watch the rationalizers and TV hosts – yeah, like Krzyzewski needs sympathy – ha!

The haters leaned on Duke so hard today – primarily for the primrose path they had to get to the Final – that finally even Coach K had to acknowledge the din: “If we’re going to be despised or hated by anybody because we go to school and we want to win, you know what, that’s your problem.”

But then, in a typical move of cover-my-ass that is why so many hate Duke’s Head Man, Coach K also said today, “If Butler wins, it would be a huge exclamation point on parity.”

Hey, Coach K?

YH hopes Brad Stevens and the Butler Bulldogs beat you hollow.

And that the NCAA Tourney expands to 96 teams so we don’t have to keep seeing you at this time of year.

Coach Krzyzewski Does It Again And Is Immediately Favored

In march madness on March 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Duke 78, Baylor 71

The Blue Devils needed help from the refs to close this one out, but Coach K remains a formidable March Master.

Duke’s much maligned big men have grown enormously in heart. They exhibit markedly increased effort in the tournament.

What’s scary is the Blue Devils are winning despite a tourney-long shooting slump by Jon Scheyer, who was 5 for 12 in this one, including a late 3 which Dookies are calling clutch, but which could also arguably be called “in garbage time” since it followed the advantage of the 2-shot personal tech …

and he was 5 of 5 from the line.

Just tuning his slumping shooting arm with those FTs, was Scheyer. Will he go off against the Mountaineers? All signs say yes.

Duke looks better than they have looked all year. Huggie Bear has his work cut out for him.

And finally, six weeks ago we wrote:

Butler is Better Than Duke

– Yesterday’s Hoops, February 21, 2010

YH published it and then floated it on comment pages and by chatting on numerous chatboards, starting back on February 21st -and everybody made fun of us.

Now that our bracket is totally shot, one bright spot for YH fans is that the two teams could meet in Indianapolis – on Butler’s home turf – to prove it!

March Madness 2010 has to be one of the Top Five in NCAA Tournament History, not for Fantastic Finishes, but for great fundamental basketball and excellent defense.

Prince Smothers ET and Thus Bruce Pearl, Giant-Killer, Strikes Thrice and Joins the Spartans, Bears and Devils in the Elites

In march madness on March 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

Tennessee 76, Ohio State 73

After an epic battle between teams that met three years ago in the same game – J.P. Prince stuffed Evan Turner’s last second, desperation 3-pt. attempt and Ohio State’s run at a title using only five guys came to a screeching halt.

Credit goes first to Vols Head Coach Bruce Pearl, the Giant-Killer, who has now taken down Bill Self and Kansas, John Calipari and Kentucky and Evan Turner and Ohio State using a tactical approach – methodological, executed to perfection and designed in specific to fit each context.

Against Ohio State, Pearl pushed his defense to force the tempo and physicality of the game, saddling David Lighty with two fouls early and forcing Ohio State head Coach Thad Matta to turn to a bench he has famously failed to work. It was a perfect plan.

Despite the lack of minutes, the Ohio State bench produced – when back-up guard Jeremie Simmens went 3-4 from 3pt. range in substitution for Lighty –

but with epic myopia Matta went straight back to the starting five in the second half and rode his horses to the bitter end.

Out of rhythm, nobody could hit but Turner, who scored 21 of his 31 in the second half, but couldn’t come up with the late-game heroics for which he has become known.

The weight was borne by J.P. Prince to defend Evan Turner in the end, and the job he did was beautiful to watch.

Prince remarked after the game:  “I said on offense, ‘They’ll take care of it; I’ll save it all for defense, that’s all I did. I knew that last two minutes I was going to make them work no matter what. I know nobody wanted it more than I did.”

Congrats to Prince, Goins, Maze, Coach Pearl and the rest of the Tennessee Vols defense for their execution of Ohio State and the idea that a starting five running 40 minutes all year can possibly win the tournament.

Duke 70, Purdue 57

Coach K rambles on with Smith, Scheyer and Singler leading the way.

Baylor 72, St. Mary’s 49

Tweety Carter and the Bears roll on, crushing the dreams of the small time Gaels by controlling Samhan the Big Man from San Ramon.

Baylor is round and has a big man of their own – which by YH’s estimation means they have what it takes to beat Duke, but … are they out of steam?

[but, our estimation also has us

bracket flat busted – what a year!]

Congrats in defeat to the St. Mary’s Gaels, though, on a great tourney!

We loved the attitude on Omar, and the team was fun to watch. Well done.

Michigan State 59, University of Northern Iowa 52

Tom Izzo. Tom Izzo. Tom Izzo. Tom Izzo. Tom Izzo. [Judd Heathcote]

end of story.