- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Monday night in Indianapolis will be the ultimate David versus Goliath matchup.
Can Butler continue its remarkable run and win before the home fans at Lucas Oil Stadium? Or will Coach K join UCLA's John Wooden (10) and Kentucky's Adolph Rupp (four) as the only coaches with at least four national championships?
You know Butler will have the crowd going bananas, and there will be a frenzy. Defense has been the Bulldogs' forte. It is incredible to see that Butler has held all five of its opponents in the NCAA tournament to fewer than 60 points. Can the Bulldogs do that against the multifaceted Dukies? Frankly, I don't think so. Look at the three S-men -- Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith. You simply cannot stop all three of them, and West Virginia had a hard time containing any of them.
The trio combined for 63 of Duke's 78 points in the national semifinal. That has been a broken record all season, with all three dominating.
Butler deserves credit for its run, and I don't want to take anything away from Brad Stevens & Co. This group has taken advantage of opportunities, as Arinze Onuaku was out for Syracuse and Kalin Lucas was sidelined for Michigan State.
I understand that only three teams have scored 70 or more against Butler all season long, but there are matchup problems against Duke. The Bulldogs did what was needed to win to get to the final, but now comes a major challenge. There is no way Butler will hold Duke to 60 points or fewer. I just don't see it. I have a better chance of growing hair!
Duke simply has too much size and firepower. Butler has a great winner's mentality, especially at the end of close games. But this is just a different opponent, one on a mission. I have seen Duke get better and better, watching it win the ACC tournament and playing well in the Big Dance.
Beating the likes of California, Purdue, Baylor and West Virginia is impressive. But to beat the Mountaineers by turning the ball over just six times and hitting 13 of 25 trifectas tells me Coach K and his squad can taste another title.
At 33-4, Butler is a great story. Indianapolis would be partying all night if the Bulldogs could score a surprise Monday night. But Duke is 34-5 and ready to make victory number 35 significant.
Coach K will join elite company if the Blue Devils win. There's no doubt in my mind that Duke will cut down the nets and walk away with the gold trophy Monday night.
DICK VITALE'S PREDICTION: Duke 74, Butler 63
Duke has too much size, depth, tenacious D and the big three: Singler, Scheyer and Smith. That equals a fourth national title for Mike Krzyzewski. Also, forget any rumors of Coach K leaving Duke; he will be there for the rest of his career.