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Classic March Madness final

(Video: Duke-Butler NCAA basketball final)

Last night's NCAA basketball final between Duke and Butler was one of the best, coming down to a last-second desperation shot from Butler's Gordon Hayward (shown in the video) that would have been a storybook ending to his team's Cinderella run - if it went in. 

Both teams put on a great show. Duke, a traditional basketball powerhouse, was heavily favored against the relatively-unknown Butler.  But it's easy to forget that Duke is not that large a university either: the Wall Street Journal noted that the average ratio of a tournament team was 1,175 students to one player, while Butler's is 264 to one, and Duke's is 457 to one. Duke also happens to be one of the top academic institutions, indicating that athletic programs do not automatically bring down academic standards. Maybe the high proportion of athletes at Duke has something to do with why the jock culture was controversial during the Duke lacrosse scandal (which I wrote about here), and why student-athletes are so prominent in Tom Wolfe's novel I Am Charlotte Simmons (which is set at the fictional DuPont University, but is obviously Duke).  

With so many upsets and close finishes, this was one of the most exciting March Madness seasons. I just hope the cockamamie idea that's floating around, to expand the teams from 65 to 96 next year, doesn't come to fruition.

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