The underdog Butler team gave favorite Duke a legitimate run for their money. In the end, they fell short 61-59, when Gordon Hayward’s running 3-point effort hit the back board the front of the rim and fell out.
Duke won its fourth national championship behind its three-headed attack of Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer.
The trio combined for 47 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists.
Duke shot better down the stretch, hitting 44 percent of their shots from the floor and sinking 10-of-16 free throws.
Butler lagged in field goal percentage (34 percent) but stayed in the game by hitting 6-of-18 3 pointers.
Hayward finished with 12 points, as did Shelvin Mack. The duo led the way for the hometown Bulldogs Matt Howard added 11.
Butler was in control of the offensive glass in the first half, but Duke neutralized their efforts as the game drew to a close – even with Brian Zoubek picking up his fourth foul with 11:21 remaining.
Duke had to use every attack and every defense they had to hold off Butler and it’s certainly a deserved championship.