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H.V.S. Classics | Butler vs. Duke 2010

Posted on April 07 2020

National - National Final | April 5, 2010

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

Announcers: Jim NantzClark Kellogg

Butler - 59

Starters: Gordon Hayward| Willie Veasley | Shelvin Mack | Ronald Nored | Matt Howard

Duke - 61

Starters: Kyle Singler | Nolan Smith| Jon Scheyer | Lance Thomas | Brian Zoubek | The Plumlees off the bench


The national championship obviously stands out because of the way that it ended. But it was a hard fought contest throughout the game. It's hard to believe now the level of talent disparity but Duke had 8 guys from this team who went on to play in some fashion at the NBA level while Butler only had a couple. Offensively you could point to this as one of a series of watershed contests that led to some of the rule changes the NCAA has implemented. I still think playing in a football dome is just tough for anyone to adjust to especially given the age of the players and the lack of opportunity to ever play in environments like this outside of a national semi-final. 

 I specifically remember this game as the point I started cheering for Butler. Prior to this, I was watching them and half-heartedly hoping the other team would lose rather than cheering for them to win. An Indiana team vs. Duke that was a clear call to battle. I was up and watching with a cadre of Butler Fans or Anti-Duke folks. There was no messing around this was a must win for state pride and we came oh so close. I still think that shot is going in every time I watch. Maybe next time. 


Best Play - Again I know it missed but the shot at the end is still an incredible moment in NCAA history. 

Best Retro Style - I'm going to go with the shooting sleeve. I think it might have peaked around this time. Iverson brought it in and made in desirable but it was at this point it was the peak in popularity. Oddly it seems to be falling a bit out of fashion for long sleeves. I saw Zion wear a long sleeve shirt in an Instagram post from Summer League practice. I don't understand the long sleeves. 

Very Solid Play of the Game - I'd give it to one but there were several out-of-bounds, under-the-basket situations that Duke executed so pick any one of those. 

Best Announcer Commentary - Nantz "At half court launches the shot. Ohhhhh it almost went in, almost went in and Duke is the king of the dance 2010." 

Coaching Moment - From the Oral History 

Collins: Coach K is a coach who loves input from his staff during the game. We all had a voice. But, when you're at the Final Four, it's a different setup. The court was raised, so the head coach was up on the floor, and the rest of us were in this baseball-type dugout. The floor was eye level. 

Zoubek: If we got a long rebound, I could body up Hayward, and by the time Hayward put the ball on the ground, it would be 1.2, 1.8 seconds left. 

Collins: We didn't have time to deliberate as a staff, but Coach K felt confident. Zoubek missing that second free throw was the plan. That was the call he made. 

Half-Assed Internet Research - Some of the Butler players had gone to class the day of the title game including Hayward. Matt Howard later called his head injury a concussion and he was questionable before the game. It was almost a home game for Butler just 6 miles from their home-court. 

Would this game be better with Bill Walton as the color commentator - Love Bill but he's not getting the gig for a National Championship telecast. 

Would these teams be good today - I think given the coaches and enough talent on both teams that yes they would be good. I'm not sure how good the Duke team would be. Both teams would likely need to adapt their styles to the myriad of rule changes that have occurred. In the end, I'm splitting the difference, Stevens adapts his team Coach K's team gets upset early if they played today. 

Who gets the game ball - Kyle Singler. He did the Indiana game better than anyone on the Indiana team this night. 


Josh Barnett

H.V.S. | 19NINE

Aaron Meyer

"The Suit" | H.V.S.

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