04/03/10

This is the third time that two teams seeded #5 or worse have played each other in the Final Four:

1980 - #8 UCLA defeated #6 Purdue 87-82
2000 - #5 Florida defeated #8 North Carolina 71-59

West Virginia and Duke have played each other 2 other times in the NCAA Tournament.  Duke defeated West Virginia 70-63 in the 1989 Second Round and West Virginia defeated Duke 73-67 in the 2008 Second Round.

Butler will be playing in the National Championship Game for the first time in school history.  Brad Stevens will be coaching in his first championship game.

Here are the results for the last 10 teams to play in their first championship game:
Year Team Opponent Result Score
1987 Syracuse Indiana Loss 73-74
1989 Seton Hall Michigan Loss 79-80 (OT)
1990 Nevada-Las Vegas Duke Win 103-73
1994 Arkansas Duke Win 76-72
1997 Arizona Kentucky Win 84-79 (OT)
1999 Connecticut Duke Win 77-74
2000 Florida Michigan State Loss 76-89
2002 Maryland Indiana Win 64-52
2004 Georgia Tech Connecticut Loss 73-82
2005 Illinois North Carolina Loss 70-75

Four teams have played Duke in their first championship game appearance.  All four won.  (Three are in the list above.  The fourth was UCLA in 1964.)

Butler is the first team since UCLA in 1972 to play the National Championship game in its home city.  They are the 5th overall.  The other 4 are 1945 New York, 1950 CCNY, 1968 UCLA and 1972 UCLA.

Butler is the 11th team to play in the National Championship in its home state.  It is the second time that teams have played in their home state in back-to-back year with Michigan State playing in Michigan last year.  The other time it happened was 1974 with North Carolina State and 1975 with UCLA.

Butler's 52 points is the fewest scored by a winning team in a National Seminfinal since Villanova defeated Memphis State 52-45 in 1985.  It is tied for the 10th lowest score by a winning team in a National Semifinal game.

It is only the third time in the shot-clock era (since 1986) that the winning team has scored under 60 points in the National Semifinal.  The other two were 2000 when Michigan State defeated Wisconsin 53-41 and 2006 when UCLA defeated Louisiana State 59-45.

Butler is now a tournament best 7-1 as a #5 seed.  Michigan State is now 14-6 as a #5 seed which is the third best winning percentage all-time.

Butler is now a tournament best 5-0 on Saturdays.

Michigan State loses when playing in Indiana for the first time.  They are now 7-1 in the tournament.

Michigan State is now 3-5 in National Semifinal games.

Duke will be playing in its 10th National Championship Game which ties Kentucky for the second most all-time behind UCLA who has 13.

Duke is now 10-5 in National Semifinal games.

It is the 8th Championship Game for Mike Krzyzewski which is also second most all-time behind John Wooden who has 10.

Duke will be playing in its first National Championship Game since 2001.

Duke is now 6-1 when playing in Indiana.

West Virginia is now 1-1 in National Semifinal games.

This is only second time in the shot-clock era in which both teams in the championship game allowed an average of less than 60 points in their first 5 tournament games.  Butler has allowed 55.2 points per game and Duke has allowed 56.4 points per game.  The other time was in 2006 when Florida played UCLA.