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Duke end Butler's miracle run in college basketball championship
Basketball powerhouse Duke University put a sad end to Butler University's miracle run, edging out the underdogs 61-59 in the championship game of the NCAA tournament in Indianapolis.
AFP - The Duke Blue Devils captured their first American college basketball title since 2001 by beating upstart Butler 61-59 Monday.
Kyle Singler scored 19 points, Jon Scheyer added 15 and Nolan Smith 13 for the Blue Devils at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Duke (35-5) almost blew a five-point lead with under two minutes left.
But they clinched their fourth NCAA title when Duke centre Brian Zoubek got a hand in Gordon Hayward's face on a missed shot with seven seconds remaining.
Zoubek then hit a free throw with 3.6 seconds and then watched Hayward's desperate half-court toss at the buzzer deflect off the glass and then roll off the rim.
Duke (35-5) won the title for the fourth time in school history and for the first time since 2001 when the Blue Devils defeated Arizona.
Butler (33-5) was playing less than six miles from their campus. They had their 25-game winning streak snapped and failed to give the mid-major Horizon League a coveted national championship.
It was an superb effort for the Bulldogs, who were led by 33-year-old coach Brad Stevens, but the title was not to be against the powerhouse Blue Devils.