RTC Championship Game TidbitsPosted by rtmsf on April 5th, 2010
Each day this week during the Final Four we’re asking some of our top correspondents to put together a collection of notes and interesting tidbits about each region. If you know of something that we should include in tomorrow’s submission, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duke (Patrick Sellars)
- A huge part of Duke’s NCAA tournament run can be attributed to center Brian Zoubek. Zoubek is finally playing to his potential and he provides mismatches in the post for Coach K to work with.
- According to The New York Times Singler vs. Hayward is the matchup to watch in the national title game. Both play a very similar style, and their play usually determines who wins the game.
- In order to beat Duke, Butler has to shoot the ball well from behind the arc. So the Blue Devils will try to contain Butler from three-point range.
- The three-headed monster for Duke (Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Singler) actually out-scored West Virginia on their own Saturday night. The three combined for 63 points, while the Mountaineers managed only 57 as a team.
- Nolan Smith is playing for his late father Derek, and he proudly displays a tattoo on his right bicep honoring his dad.
Butler (Andrew Murawa)
- As Butler prepares for the biggest game in its history, a couple injury questions loom large. Junior forward Matt Howard will be a game-time decision on Monday due to the “mildest of mild concussions” but sophomore guard Shelvin Mack will play, despite suffering through food-poisoning and dehydration that limited him to just 25 minutes in the semifinal game.
- While the physical readiness of two of their star players will remain a question mark for the underdogs, the team has shown throughout the season that if one guy is unavailable, the next player in line is ready to make a contribution.
- The Bulldogs have made their living on the defensive side of the ball, but head coach Brad Stevens knows that they’ll need to pick things up offensively to have a chance against Duke.
- Another key will be whether Butler is capable of keeping the Duke bigs off of the offensive glass, a task that could be even more difficult given Howard’s questionable status.
- And, if everything breaks right for the Bulldogs, John Feinstein writes that the “Hoosiers” comparison will be cemented for history.