Goodman: Not The Same Game In Rematch

FoxSports' Jeff Goodman says today's game may not provide the drama of April's National Title match-up between Duke and Butler.

The Rematch.

Duke vs. Butler. Eight months later.

There was hope that it would be THE game of the college basketball season, even more hyped than the Michigan State-Duke matchup that took place earlier this week in Durham.

It was supposed to be a chance to see the top two teams in the country go up against one another again.

The first act came in Indianapolis and Butler came just inches away from knocking off Duke and pulling the ultimate Cinderella story with a national championship.

However, Gordon Hayward's shot didn't fall.

Now the two teams will face each other again, this time Saturday afternoon at 3:15 at the Izod Center in New Jersey.

But it won't be the same.

Not even close.

Duke is still atop the college hoops universe after disposing of Kansas State and Michigan State to dispel the notion the Blue Devils should be ranked anywhere but the top spot in the nation.

But Butler won't come into the game ranked just behind the Dukies – as many had hoped.

In fact, they don't come into the game with a number before their name at all.

Gordon Hayward decided to leave school after his sophomore year and the void has hit the Bulldogs – who already have lost games to Louisville and Evansville.

Brad Stevens' team is struggling at 4-2 overall, unranked and comes in at far less than 100 percent.

Starting point guard Ronald Nored may play, but he sat out the last game after suffering a concussion.

Shelvin Mack is still adjusting to life without Hayward and while the Bulldogs will still likely compete for a Horizon League title and make another trip to the Big Dance, it's unlikely they'll be able to truly compete against the Blue Devils this time around.


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