Whatifsports.com Predicts Duke Win Monday Night From WhatIfSports.com image

The Duke Devils Have Their Day

Whatifsports.com computers predict Duke win over Butler
By Ryan Fowler, WhatIfSports.com
April 5, 2010

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Every dog has his day. Unfortunately for the Butler Bulldogs, today is not that day.

The Whatifsports.com college basketball simulation engines "played" the 2010 NCAA Championship game 2000 times and it predicted the Duke Blue Devils will win 81-percent of the time. If you would have told Butler head coach Brad Stevens three weeks ago he'd have a 19-percent chance to cut down the nets seven miles down the road from his home gym; he'd probably take that action.

So, there are the numbers crunched, but not the end of the story.

2010 NCAA Championship Game 2000 Simulations
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Butler Bulldogs18.767Boxscore
@ Duke Blue Devils81.376

Easter Sunday I had to get out of the city, so I took a trip north searching for a coffee shop to get some work done on my computer. Driving down a main stretch of road I kept telling myself there has to be a coffee shop around here somewhere. Mile after mile, tree-lined green space acted as my guide while I traveled outside the city limits.

I was lost.

I purposely avoided typing my hopeful destination into my GPS because in my world it seems as if Wi-Fi is available around every corner. This is the northern suburbs of Indiana where it does not.

Eventually I decided to make a sharp right into a part of town where business seemed inevitable. Two blocks later, surrounded by houses built in the early part of the 20th century, it hit me.

I was on Butler's campus. What are the odds? Five to one?

Brad Stevens Butler head coach Brad Stevens can blame this tournament run on the 'Dogs.

Driving around the small, quaint university, the campus seemed to welcome me with open arms. I felt for a brief moment like I should have attended college here. It was homey and I was blanketed in a coat of comfort.

Two left turns later Hinkle Fieldhouse appeared before me. It's a high school gymnasium in essence from the outside. Inside, well Hinkle's core description will have to wait for another day. It's closed on Sunday's.

The time had come to drive away from Butler University and reach the destination I set out to reach in the first place.

About 15 minutes outside of BU I finally found my coffee shop. I started prepping for this article when a woman walked into the caffeine haven and sat down next to me.

She was in her mid to late 50s and the aches and pains of a bad back had forced her to rely on the assistance of a walker. Hunched over and full of vigor she ordered a coffee with an extra shot of espresso when she asked what I was doing.

I found out her name was Jacqueline and she was a violinist. At one time she played for a living and now she teaches lessons to pay the bills. Oh, and she loves basketball.

Jacqui proceeded to rattle off a story of how her father grew up in Milan, Indiana. Remember the movie "Hoosiers"? Yeah, Milan High School was the inspiration. Her dad did not play on the team, but followed the dramatic run on the tournament that eventually landed on the silver screen.

She wanted me to drop everything I was doing and make the trip south to take in the rolling countryside where flowers in full bloom outnumbered people.

We eventually got back to talking about Butler and their chances of winning the championship. Though a graduate of Indiana University's School of Music, Jacqui was pro-Bulldog come Monday night. She said Indiana does basketball better than any other state or school, including Duke. As you can imagine she was not a huge fan of WIS prediction of a Devils' win.

The barista handed her the cup of coffee with the extra shot of espresso and she dug through her coin purse to pick out a few bills.

It was a simple Indiana business transaction. Nothing too flashy, no debit cards, just a couple ones and some change.

The simplicity of it all reminds one of the ways Butler plays basketball. The Bulldogs get down to basics and it may not be pretty all 40 minutes, however, the job gets done and at the end of the day their opponents wonder what just hit them.

Jacqueline is a true Hoosier in every sense of the word, simple, kind and a fan of basketball. She truly believes Butler will win tonight. No computer is going to convince her otherwise.

However, if she is wrong she may have to break out the violin and play Butler off the court one last time.

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com. Feel free to shoot him an email with any questions or comments regarding Whatifsports.com's NCAA Tournament Preview.

Whatifsports.com is proud to say it accurately predicted the 2009 Super Bowl, 2009 BCS National Championship, 2009 World Series, 2009 NBA Finals and 2009 NCAA basketball championship. Our hope is to add the 2010 national basketball championship to that running list of Whatifsports.com's simulation success.

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