Blue Devils Best Butler, 61-59, to Capture 4th National Title

The Butler Bulldogs fell just short of immortality in front of a hometown crowd.


Butler was one very close halfcourt heave from making history in the NCAA championship game last night. Gordon Hayward's prayer banked of the glass and careened in favor of Blue Devils victory.

Tiny Butler, on a mission to write a sequel to "Hoosiers," had two chances to win it in the last 4 seconds. Hayward's more traditional attempt - a fadeaway, 15-footer - was barely long. Then, after Brian Zoubek made one free throw and intentionally missed the next, Hayward collected the rebound, moved to halfcourt and took another shot that was on line, but barely bounced out.

"I can't really put it into words because the last couple of plays were just not normal," said Duke's Kyle Singler, who scored 19 points and was named the Final Four's most outstanding player.

The Blue Devils (35-5) got the right bounces at the end to snap Butler's 25-game winning streak and bring the long-awaited fourth national title back home to the Cameron Crazies.

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