We're just 20 minutes away from crowning the 2010 national champion and, to the surprise of many, the Horizon League representatives are close enough to taste the NCAA approved beverage locker shower, entering the half down 33-32.
A lot of the first half was the same old story for Butler as they got out-shot by their opponent (50% to 34%) and found their best post threat on the bench with fouls. But, as the Bulldogs have done all tournament, they've pieced together just enough winning pieces to remain within striking distance. Tonight, it's been team rebounding and 10 big points off the bench from senior Avery Jukes, much to the delight of the home crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium.
For the Devils, it's also been business as usual as their "Big 3" has combined for 26 of their 33 points and Brian "Jersey Muscle" Zoubek is on pace for double-digit rebounds with 5 in the first half. Lance Thomas found himself in foul trouble early (per the usual) and neither of the Plumlee brothers were able to contribute much in his absence, probably frustrating their father, Plucky. Plucky Plumlee.
So, where might the game change? Well, as in all close games, the free throw line can be the difference between winning and losing and both teams struggled in the first half. For Butler, only Matt Howard got to the line (1-4) and Duke combined to go 4-9. That's the stat you look at on Tuesday morning and either bow your head and shake it side-to-side or smile and sigh a sigh of relief.
It's Butler and Duke and there's 20 minutes left until the end of incredible NCAA tournament and, at the very least, we're guaranteed no more sorry Diddy promos.
Let's do this!