INDIANAPOLIS — Butler’s players took the floor a final time Monday night, gave Blue II — their English bulldog mascot — a succession of good-luck pats on the head and closed the book, along with Duke, on three of the most exciting weeks in the 72-year history of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
In style and substance, will there be another like it?
Upsets rained. The likes of Cornell, Northern Iowa and Saint Mary’s played uncommonly deep into the tournament, and Butler got to the championship game. All the while, the NCAA weighed large-scale expansion of its signature event and threw traditionalists into a fit. How dare it consider messing with perfection?