Normally, an injury or two for a playoff game can temper expectations or dampen the hype.
With the national championship just hours away, Butler has two starters who are "questionable," yet we haven't seen too much talk of how this can really hinder the Bulldogs.
Matt Howard conked his head on the floor in Saturday night's game against Michigan State. He got a concussion from it. Some have said it's "mild," but I thought getting a concussion was like pregnancy — it's either all or nothing.
So Howard's a game-time decision. His dad expects him to play. I think Butler needs him if it stands a chance to win. Howard has started every game this season.
The less-serious injury is to fellow starter Shelvin Mack, who sat out the majority of the second half against Michigan State due to cramps. We're talking seriously debilitating cramps. Get that boy a banana or two.
But the dehydration won't stop Mack, who's said to be good to go — though I do wonder if this won't 1) pop up again and 2) be in the back of Mack's mind. Will he be wondering when the cramps are going to show up again?
As for Duke, it's fine, so far as we know. But if any player is giving it a go while grimacing his teeth through an injury, we wouldn't be surprised. Krzyzewski seems like he could have a little Bill Belichick in him in that regard, right?
Regardless, it's the final game of the season. No excuses.
- Michigan State