Boards or bust for Butler
The biggest hurdle between Butler and a title is Duke's ability to rebound
The "Instant Intel" series is designed to immediately respond to outcomes by looking ahead to the next game.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Its mid-major status has been trumpeted before every round, and when it faces Duke in the final, the stage will be set for a David vs. Goliath showdown. But Butler took down Michigan State without Cinderella-type histrionics. The Bulldogs did it playing Big Ten style basketball.
Before the game, even Spartans coach Tom Izzo was comparing the Bulldogs to a conference counterpart. "They resemble Wisconsin because they don't take a lot of chances. They kind of play from the 3-point line in, very solid." Like Wisconsin, Butler doesn't overextend its D, instead forcing a stuck-in-tar half-court matchup. There, the Bulldogs' taut D does more than just slow things down. It wins games.
To see the keys to Monday's final, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- No. 2 Badgers need late rally to edge G'town
- No. 5 UNC stomps No. 22 UCLA in Bahamas
- Kansas rides Ellis to win in Orlando opener
- Gonzaga's Perkins (broken jaw) out indefinitely