Four Corners: Who will win the NCAA men's title game?

April 05, 2010

No fairy-tale ending
Andrea Adelson

Orlando Sentinel

Butler has the home-court advantage, the fan support, the Cinderella story, the up-and-coming coach, the defensive-minded team - everything that makes it the team most of America will be rooting for tonight. But do the Bulldogs have the team to win?

I don't think so. While Butler is the first squad since Villanova in 1985 to hold five straight tournament teams to 60 points or fewer, the Bulldogs have not played a team with the shooters on the Duke roster.

Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith combined for 63 points - more than the Mountaineers scored in the entire game. Though Duke is the team everybody loves to hate, and coach Mike Krzyzewski is the coach vilified more than any other, the Blue Devils are poised to hoist another trophy. Their talent and athleticism are too much for Butler to overcome. Duke 65, Butler 55.

aadelson@tribune.com

Too many weapons
Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

It's going to be Duke 61, Butler 55, just as sure as Tiger is going to make the cut at the Masters.

Butler is the best story, but Duke is the best team. The Blue Devils played a near-perfect game in dismantling a very strong West Virginia team.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is coaching with an attitude and is 40 minutes from becoming the clear-cut second best coach since UCLA's John Wooden. Butler has held five teams in the tournament to fewer than 60 points, but the streak stops here.

Duke has three terrific perimeter players in Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer and a 7-footer, Brian Zoubek, in the middle. This Duke team has size on the interior and will kill you on second-chance baskets off rebounds.

cdufresne@tribune.com

Go with Goliath
Shannon Ryan

Chicago Tribune

Like the New York Yankees, Notre Dame football and the Dallas Cowboys, Duke knows what it's like to be hated as much as loved. Well, start taking deep breaths and trying to control your rage, all you Duke haters. The Blue Devils will raise a fourth national championship banner.

Butler's defense is certainly outstanding. And it is true that defense wins championships. But you've got to be able to make a few shots as well.

The Bulldogs can't afford to shoot the way they did against Michigan State in the Final Four, and they simply don't have a lot of manpower. And it's not as if Duke is solely an offensive power despite the way they sank nearly everything against West Virginia. They hold opponents to 61 points per game and outrebound them by 6.4 per game.

Butler is a talented team, but this one goes to Goliath. Duke 71, Butler 62.

sryan@tribune.com

That's far enough
Nick Mathews

Newport News

Daily Press

Unless you are a Duke fan - or you are counting on the Blue Devils so you can win your NCAA tournament pool - you are pulling for Butler. How can you not? A team that picked on Cleveland State, Youngstown State and Green Bay in Horizon League play, yet has taken down Syracuse, Kansas State and Michigan State in consecutive games?

How can you not pull for the Bulldogs to have their day? Well, they already have. They're here. And very few saw the Bulldogs getting here.

And even fewer - if any - can see Butler winning on Monday. Duke simply is better. And it's not close. The Blue Devils will spoil this fun. In a rout. 75-55.

nmathews@tribune.com

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