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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nice guys finish second

Butler Bulldog logo

The NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game between the Butler University Bulldogs and the Duke University Blue Devils has been over for 3 days. And I'm just now finding the strength to write about it. (Not that many of you care -- my BU basketball blog entries were virtually untouched by my usually effusive commenters).

I have to admit that before the game began, I was a doubter. I was in that, "Well, it was cool to get this far" camp, pretty sure that my beloved Bulldogs were going to be trounced by the big boys from Duke.

And if that had happened, I would have still be a proud alum. Butler's got a great group of guys -- 2 Academic All-Americans, 1 guy whose already established his own foundation for kids, 1 guy who is the basketball version of "The Blind Side." Then there's Coach Brad Stevens who is calm, well-spoken and looks like he could be the pitch man for fruit roll-ups (or chocolate milk, as David Letterman suggested).

But darn it all if those guys showed up at Lucas Oil Stadium ready to win! And they almost did. A couple of free throws here, an offensive rebound there, a basket or two falling in and it would have been a different outcome. If Gordon Hayward's last second, mid-court shot had fallen, instead of bouncing in and then out, I think Butler's campus still would be rocking.

Sadly, that's not how the last shot fell. What did fall were the hopes of not just 15 basketball players and a handful of coaches, but the hopes of a nation full of people pulling for the little guy to beat the big, bad giant.

What soared, however, was the pride felt by Butler alumni across the country who probably felt, like I did, that the amazing tournament run by OUR Butler Bulldogs and the mature and classy way those guys carried themselves on and off the court made our degrees a little more valuable.

Thanks Bulldogs! Can't wait to see you next year!

10 comments:

babybeezymom said...

Amy,
Although not a Butler Alum I am right there with you. Not sure if there is a classier program in the nation. And, it just shows how awesome Coach's character is and his commitment to the program that he signed an extended contract. He can't be bought.

Joanie M said...

Sorry, but I had never even heard of Butler University until the final four. And since I'm no longer married, I don't HAVE to watch sports ever again, unless I really want to!

Cat said...

It was definitely a great game- very exciting!

Kathleen said...

What a ride! And it ain't over yet!

wayne said...

My daughter plays for UWM women's soccer part of the Horizon League. We were rooting for Butler all the way! They will be there and win it next year for sure. What an awesome game!

kimybeee said...

When my Mountaineers lost to Duke - I was rootin for your Bulldogs! It was an awesome game...and I don't like basketball and usually don't watch it. Anyone affiliated with Butler should be very proud of their team - they were terrific as players and people to get acquainted with!

Shelley said...

My interest in basketball -- high school, college or pro -- is SEVERELY limited, but even I have to admit that that was a darned good game. The Butler boys did a great job.

Old Woman said...

live in carolina, not a basketball fan, and not a duke fan at all no matter the sport. was hoping the Dawgs would have pulled it out in the end. glad you still have pride in your team. they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Joanne said...

Honestly Amy I had no idea what you were blogging about (sorry). I knew I should have had my husband read it - he was all over - I mean ALL OVER Butler. He watched every minute of their games and I even watched the final minutes with him - hoping for Cinderella finish but everyone was denied.

I was thinking about you when I was watching.

adraider21 said...

Hey! Even though I am not much of a Bulter fan, but more of a Purdue fan, I wanted them to win.. very badly. They did good though. I remember Annie texted me right after the game and FLIPPED OUT.

Well, cya later!