Close games raise my blood pressure. The closer the score, the lower the time clock goes, the more tense I get. By the last minute of the NCAA Championship game between the Butler University Bulldogs and the Duke Blue Devils, I couldn't even be in the room with the television. Instead, I was standing in my bedroom, peeking around the corner every minute or so to check the score.
I didn't have any particular loyalties going into this game. My only traditional loyalty is to the Razorbacks, then after that to the SEC. When those two rules aren't in play, I usually root for the underdog. This meant I was rooting for Butler, like a lot of other people. Duke came into the tournament as the first seed in their bracket, while Butler was 5th.
Butler also got my vote for having the cutest coach:
And Butler has this guy:
His name is Gordon. How do you not root for a guy named Gordon with big ears?
Anyway, Butler wasn't expected to give Duke much trouble, but it was a close game from beginning to end, making last year's North Carolina win seem boring in comparison, even though it was my beloved Psycho T's last college game. I never saw Duke get ahead by more than 5 points. Butler was down by 2 at the last second and poor Gordon's half court shot didn't fall.
Cinderella didn't win the game, but I don't think they really lost it either. There's no shame in being a 5 seed that lost by 2 points to a 1 seed. They fought hard and should be proud. As for Duke, I harbor no ill will towards them, but I'm pretty unmoved by their win. I'm sure the players are ecstatic, but I can't get too excited when a traditionally winning program wins some more, unless they've had a bad couple of years (which Duke hasn't).
Sorry, Gordon, maybe next year.