Duke's Miles Plumlee (21) and teammates celebrate after Duke's 61-59 win over Butler in the men's NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game Monday, April 5, 2010, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Updated: Thursday, 22 Apr 2010, 3:21 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 05 Apr 2010, 10:18 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A last-second half court heave from Butler's Gordon Hayward rattled out allowing the Duke Blue Devils to hang on to win the national championship Monday night. Duke beat the Bulldogs in a 61-59 thriller.
The Blue Devils maintained the lead throughout the second half but the Bulldogs were never far behind.
Butler forward Gordon Hayward had two shots to steal the lead from Duke late in the game. His first shot came with Butler down by one with under 10 seconds to play. His baseline shot clanked off the rim.
Butler then fouled Duke center Brian Zoubek, who hit one of two free throws giving the Blue Devils a 61-59 lead with three seconds left to play. Hayward dribbled to half court and tossed up a last second shot that caromed off the backboard, hit the rim and bounced out.
Duke forward Kyle Singler kept the Blue Devils on top hitting several key shots and making important plays on the defensive end. He played all 40 minutes and finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. He also added two blocks and a steal.
Not surprisingly, Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward led the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points each. Butler forward Matt Howard struggled early in the game but was solid in the final minutes putting up 11 points and gathering key rebounds.
Duke and Butler found themselves just about even at halftime of the NCAA championship game Monday night. The Blue Devils held a slight edge with the score 33-32.
While the Blue Devils were able to score consistently underneath the basket with their size advantage, the Bulldogs fought back out-rebounding the Blue Devils 24-17 in the first half.
The Bulldogs also received a lift from senior forward Avery Jukes who scored 10 points in the first half including five that came after a timeout called by Butler coach Brad Stevens when the Blue Devils ran off six-straight points.
While the Bulldogs relied heavily on Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward for scoring against the Spartans in the semifinals, the offensive production was more evenly spread for Butler in the first half against Duke.
Duke's Kyle Singler was tied for the team lead in rebounds and points in the first half (five and nine, respectively). The Blue Devils also blocked five Butler shots in the first half. Butler had zero blocks.