Although Indiana University wasn’t playing in the Final Four Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, Hoosier fans had plenty to cheer about.
They were rooting for Wisconsin, which knocked off Kentucky 71-64 to spoil the Wildcats’ dream of being the first team since Bob Knight’s Hoosiers of 1976-77 to go undefeated. Many thought Kentucky (38-1) would rewrite history books this year, but the Badgers must have felt that those texts are fine the way they read now.
The upset also added more excitement to The Southsider Voice’s third annual Basketball Blitz, which matches advertisers with teams in the tourney and awards nice advertising packages.
You can bet that Jim Lamping and Chris Huser over at Lamping & Huser Heating & Cooling were backing the Badgers, because their company was paired with Wisconsin.
Before The Voice’s pairings were drawn, most advertisers were commenting that they wanted Kentucky, which was matched up with Ed Gregg’s Plumbing.
In the other national semifinal, Duke (Weichart Realtors Tralee Properties) trounced Michigan State (27-12, Merry Maids) in a game that was rather dull when compared to the Wisconsin-Kentucky battle.
So the stage was set for Monday’s championship game between Duke (35-4) and Wisconsin (36-4). More than 71,000 fans – fourth-most for a title game – packed the stadium and watched the teams battle to a 31-31 halftime tie. The lead changed hands 13 times.
The Badgers jumped out to a 48-39 lead with less than 13 minutes to play, but coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils were not to be denied their fifth national title. Duke stormed back and took its first lead of the second half, 56-54, with 5:26 left and held on for a 68-63 win.
Coach K is probably beginning to develop a fondness for Lucas Oil Stadium ... as he won his fourth championship there by defeating Butler 61-59 in 2010.
In being paired with Duke, Weichart Realtors Tralee Properties won a half-page, full color ad valued at $675. Lamping & Huser won a quarter-page ad valued at $390, and Ed Gregg’s Plumbing and Merry Maids received eighth-page ads worth $210 each.