Sunday, April 4, 2010

It is "Hoosiers" for the college crowd

Is the script playing out any more perfectly? Tiny Butler, the darling of the NCAA tournament, will now take on mighty Duke, the team people love...or hate, on Monday night in the final game of this college hoops season. The story line for this one will be told way too frequently between now and tomorrow night but, suffice to say, there are way too many similarities to the classic sports movie, Hoosiers:

- Butler as tiny Hickory High with Duke as the big city school with the shiny uniforms and stud athletes.
- Lucas Oil Field as the modern day equivalent of Hinkle Fieldhouse, which served as the big arena where the Indiana state championship game was played in the film. (And, yes, Hinkle is where Butler now plays its regular season games.)
- Gordon Hayward, Butler's star, in the role of Jimmy Chitwood who was the guy who hit the winning shot for Hickory in Hoosiers.

Do I expect Butler to win? No--Duke's inside game with Brian Zoubek and the Plumlee brothers has made me a believer and last night they ran their half-court sets masterfully. When Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith are hitting from outside, Duke is hard to beat. Yet, I'm also the same guy who predicted that Michigan State and West Virginia would advance so, what do I know!?

Will Butler's storybook season end like Hickory's...or as another "great season, but couldn't win the last game?" We won't know until 10:30 p.m. tomorrow but, for now at least, it's terrific theater.

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