There will be no repeat championship for Nolan Smith and the Duke Blue Devils.
Three Sweet Sixteen appearances by three BCS teams that defeated K-State this season produced two stinkers and one survival. All in all, not a great night for the ol' resume/reputation.
I don't recall ever seeing a Mike Krzyzewski-coached team capitulate in the face of sudden and unanticipated adversity the way Duke did midway through the second half Thursday night.
It was as if Arizona turned into Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" — the Wildcats suddenly snapped and proceeded to wail on big bully Duke/Scut Farkus (who, ironically enough, bears a strong resemblance to Kyle Singler) with a torrent of invective until the Blue Devils were crying for mercy like a baby.
Florida fared slightly better, but considering how poorly Jimmer Fredette played — yes, he accumulated 30+ points, but he had to toss up nearly 30 shots to do it, completing roughly 33 percent of those, and he completely abandoned driving into the paint after he was called for charging and later split his chin, reducing him to nothing more than a glorified jump shooter who missed a ton of 3s late in the game — the game never should have gone to overtime.
I predict Florida will have its hands full with Butler, just like it did about five years ago when the 12th-seeded Bulldogs upset the fifth-seeded Gators in the first round — the first of many upsets to come for Horizon League's Cinderella.
And finally, there was Wisconsin. Butler lucked out and got to play the "bad" Badgers, who didn't hit a field goal for a 10-minute stretch spanning halftime and started the second half 1 of 16 from the floor.
Don't be fooled by the final score — the Bulldogs led by double digits for most of the game, but fell asleep late and allowed Wisconsin to put a short-lived scare into them before sealing it up for good.
And their reward, for the second consecutive year, is to face a team with superior athleticism that is coming off a hard-fought overtime game with a short turnaround. Where have I seen this movie before...?
Associated Press Ranking = 21
ESPN/USA Today Ranking = 24
Overall Record = 23-11
Big 12 Record = 10-6
Top 50 Record = 4-7
Big 12 Seed = 4
NCAA Seed = 5
RPI = 23
SOS = 11
Region (Site) = Southeast (Tucson)
Signature Wins (RPI 1-30) = Kansas, Texas, Utah State
Quality Wins (RPI 31-100) = James Madison, Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, Washington State, Baylor, Nebraska (2), Missouri
Bad Losses (RPI 101 or greater) = none
- James Madison (21-12, 10-8 CAA) | RPI = 88
- Virginia Tech (22-12, 9-7 ACC) | RPI = 62
- Presbyterian (13-18, 7-11 Big South) | RPI = 204
- Gonzaga (24-10, 11-3 WCC) | RPI = 56
- No. 1 seed Duke (32-5, 13-3 ACC) | RPI = 4: Loss to No. 5 seed Arizona (77-93 in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen)
- Texas Southern (19-13, 16-2 SWAC) | RPI = 192
- Emporia State (16-14, 12-10 MIAA**)
- No. 2* seed Washington State (22-12, 9-9 Pac-10) | RPI = 82
- Alcorn State (4-24, 4-14 SWAC) | RPI = 337
- Loyola-Chicago (16-15, 7-11 Horizon League) | RPI = 197
- No. 2 seed Florida (29-7, 13-3 SEC) | RPI = 8: Win over No. 3 seed BYU (83-74 in overtime in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen)
- UNLV (24-9, 11-5 Mountain West) | RPI = 25
- UMKC (16-14, 9-9 Summit League) | RPI = 212
- North Florida (15-19, 10-10 Atlantic Sun) | RPI = 149
- Savannah State (12-18) | RPI = 252
- Oklahoma State (20-14, 6-10 Big 12) | RPI = 61
- No. 1* seed Colorado (24-13, 8-8 Big 12) | RPI = 65
- Texas Tech (13-19, 5-11 Big 12) | RPI = 165
- Missouri (23-11, 8-8 Big 12) | RPI = 37
- No. 24 Texas A&M (24-9, 10-6 Big 12) | RPI = 30
- Baylor (18-13, 7-9 Big 12) | RPI = 94
- No. 1 seed Kansas (34-2, 14-2 Big 12) | RPI = 1
- Nebraska (19-13, 7-9 Big 12) | RPI = 89
- Iowa State (16-16, 3-13 Big 12) | RPI = 138
- Oklahoma (14-18, 5-11 Big 12) | RPI = 126
- No. 8 Texas (28-8, 13-3 Big 12) | RPI = 11
- No. 19 Utah State (30-4, 15-1 WAC) | RPI = 15
- No. 4 seed Wisconsin (25-9, 13-5 Big Ten) | RPI = 16: Loss to No. 8 seed Butler (54-61 in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen)