Well, not only did the Blue Devils survive and advance (and destroy the Mountaineers in the process), but they also edged out a scrappy yet talented Butler team in the Bulldogs' hometown of Indianapolis. With the 61-59 win, Duke earned its fourth national title.
"Duke didn't play perfectly on the final night of the season," writes Dan Wiederer. "But as they had all season long, the Blue Devils played hard and together and operated with a champion's composure. The only problem was that Butler played the exact same way."
Heck, even after the game Coach K was in shock.
"It's hard to imagine that we're the national champions," he said.
The win puts K -- already in elite territory -- in uber-elite territory.
"Near speechless in the wake of his fourth NCAA basketball championship, the Duke coach on Monday night joined the late legendary Kentucky patriarch [Adolph Rupp] as No. 2 on the title list," writes Caulton Tudor.
"Only former UCLA coach John Wooden has more - a lot more. Odds are no one will match Wooden's 10 titles, but Krzyzewski and Duke have pulled even with Adolph Rupp, whose Wildcats teams ruled in 1948, '49, '51 and '58"
Not bad company.
To paraphrase Wiederer, Duke is back on the mountain top of college basketball."Somehow, the fairy tale ending had become all theirs."
(Photo by Chuck Liddy, N&O)