Butler v. Duke, Colts want Marcus McNeill, and other early Sunday morning topics

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 02: The Butler Bulldogs mascot on the floor as the Bulldogs practice prior to the 2010 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 2, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Good morning! Happy Easter and Passover to all those celebrating.

Last night, we saw the Butler Bulldog play in the NCAA Final Four for the first time in their school's 112 year basketball history. In front of a home crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, host of the Final Four, the Bulldogs defense strangled the Michigan State Spartans, defeating them 52-50. Bulldogs' Gordon Hayward had 19 points and nine rebounds.

Though SB Nation has no Butler blog, our Indiana Pacers blog knows a little something about Hoosier basketball, and they had this to say about Butler's win last night [emphasis mine]:

Hopefully Larry Bird has enjoyed watching Butler this weekend. Hopefully he's extrapolated the concept that defense counts for something in the game of basketball. Hopefully he sees that a 33-year-old coach understands this concept and always has, while the guy kneeling on towel near his team's bench has never, and will never, grasp the concept that defense matters. Hard work on BOTH ends of the floor matters. It's great watching Butler. We fans actually enjoy watching great defense.

Michigan State had a helluva run through the tournament, especially when you consider that their best player, Kalin Lucas, tore his Achilles tendon in the Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen round. Coach Tom Izzo, who might be the best coach in all of college basketball, said this after the game:

"If I was not playing, I'd be a Butler fan," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "I like they way they play, I like their story. They play like a Big Ten team."

The Butler Bulldogs go on to face the Duke Blue Devils in what is surely to be billed as a David v. Goliath story. Butler is a tiny college of 4,000 kids. Duke is a powerhouse. When it is all said and done, this championship game is shaping up to be a microcosm of the entire 2010 NCAA Tournament, which (for me) has been one of the best in recent memory.

Other topics to discuss this Sunday morning:

Chat away. Hope you enjoy the day.

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