Third Time's the Charm?

Let's see ... Go Syracuse, Michigan State, Butler.

Tonight's championship game, against Duke (The Blue Devils performed brilliantly, as a team, on Saturday night against West Virginia.) could be very interesting. It's certainly college sports history in the making: "Butler, with an enrollment of 4,200, will be the smallest school in 40 years to play for the national title."

The Bulldogs' placid head coach, Brad Stevens (unlike this volcano), is all of 33 years old (and looks ten years younger). He's only been head coach since 2007. In 2000 he quit his job as a marketing associate at Eli Lilly and Company to be a volunteer assistant with the Butler hoops program and simultaneously accepted a job at Applebee's restaurant to make ends meet. But he ended up being offered the basketball operations director job due to an assistant coach getting unexpectedly canned, so he didn't have to hawk fajitas and ribs.

The risk taking certainly paid off for him and for Butler athletics.

File under: Is this a great country or what?

In the photo: Coach Stevens chats with one of Butler's former stars - the remarkable A. J. Graves.

Update: Now the governor weighs in on the Butler Way: "To me, the Butler team personifies the state of Indiana and Indiana basketball," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said. "They have a lot of Hoosier kids, and they play like a team. No one hot-dogs it, and there's no real ego that you can find. And they're good students. You've got math majors and finance majors on that team, and to see them doing what they're doing -- I just think it's a message to every sports fan in America."

P.S. Didn't care a whit to the ending to an otherwise excellent game. Ditto for this awful rendition of "One Shining Moment." Missing Luther Vandross ...

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