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Chris Chase

Where would a Butler win rank in all-time tournament upsets?

Chris Chase
The Dagger

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Despite a 25-game win streak and wins over some of the nation's elite teams, the Butler Bulldogs are a prohibitive underdog to Duke in tonight's NCAA men's national title game. But how much of one? If Butler pulls the upset, where would it rank on the list of all-time Final Four stunners?

Not too highly, we say. True upsets need two things: a larger-than-life opponent and a team nobody expects to win. Duke-Butler is neither of those. The Blue Devils were one of the most disrespected No. 1 seeds in recent memory. At times during this tournament they were expected to lose to Cal, Purdue, Baylor and West Virginia. For a top seed, Duke was picked by very few analysts to cut down the nets. If Mike Krzyzewski's team was expected to lose 17 days ago, why should it be so heavily favored tonight?

As for Butler, those 25 wins are all the indication you need to smash the talk of a glass slipper. Syracuse was a better team all season than Duke and Butler already dispatched with the Orange. Why not Duke too? Because of history and banners? Nothing that happens on the court tonight at Lucas Oil Field will have anything to do with Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley or Shane Battier.

Butler is no David and Duke is no Goliath. Let's put it this way, if Michigan State had won on Saturday, nobody would be asking where a Spartans win would rank against N.C. State and Villanova's wins back in the 1980s. Butler deserves the same respect.

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