INDIANAPOLIS -- If the Big Ten had a choice, it probably wouldn’t want to see a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference in the national championship game any time soon.
Duke’s 68-63 win against Wisconsin was the sixth consecutive win for the ACC in matchups against the Big Ten in national title games, moving the conference’s record to 6-1 in such matchups. Indiana’s win against North Carolina in 1981 was the last time the conference accomplished the feat.
MIKE LIKES INDY: When the Final Four returns to Indianapolis in 2021, there’s a good chance Duke will take home the national championship. For the second consecutive time, the Blue Devils hoisted the trophy in the Circle City.
Mike Krzyzewski is now 3-for-3 in Final Fours held in Indianapolis and three of his five total have been won in the city that the NCAA calls home.
With his fifth championship, Coach K only trails John Wooden’s 10 on the Division I coaching list as he moved past Adolph Rupp and his four titles. His NCAA tournament record moved to 88-26, which is the second-best winning percentage (.772) in the history of the tournament.
Krzyzewski was able to connect the late Wooden and this city postgame.
“Whenever you mention coach Wooden, he's separate from everybody, and in some respects, so is Indianapolis,” Coach K said. “This arena is the most -- outside of the feeling you get at the [Madison Square] Garden and in Cameron [Indoor Stadium], this is a spectacular venue. When you walk out on the court as a player or coach and you see this arena, there's something, there's something here that's magical. I don't know. And I don't know what it is, but it's here. We've done well here.
FRESH AS CAN BE: Duke’s Grayson Allen scored 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting Monday night to help ignite the Blue Devils in the second half when they trailed by as many as nine points.
It was the fifth time this season Allen scored in double figures and it was the third-highest total for the freshman.
Allen probably wouldn’t be anyone’s guess if asked who was the team’s second-leading scorer in the title game, when you consider he was just two points shy of matching the 18 points he scored in the five previous NCAA tournament games combined.
“They're amazing,” Krzyzewski said of his freshmen. “I mean, they make up half our team. There's four of them. They've been making plays for us all year. It's great that it paid off in the biggest game of everybody's lives. I'm just thankful that they came to Duke.”
JUST BEING FRANK: Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky had 21 points and 12 rebounds to put him in rare company. After putting up 20 points and 10 boards against Kentucky, the Naismith Player of the Year is the first player to record a 20-10 game in back-to-back games at the Final Four since Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony did so in 2003.
The others to pull off that feat in the last 30 years? Kansas’ Danny Manning and Michigan’s Chris Webber.
Not bad for a guy who logged 39 minutes Monday night.
“He was a gamer,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said of Kaminsky. “He was getting banged around like crazy. He tried to play hard. Fortunately, there were a lot of timeouts so he got a chance to rest. He's going to get even better. But what he did in his years at Wisconsin will be remembered for a long time.”
FILLING IT UP: Monday night’s attendance of 71,149 at Lucas Oil Stadium was the highest of any of the seven national championship games that Indianapolis has hosted.
The total was the fourth-highest in the history of the national title game and the two-day number was announced at 143,387.
Saturday’s 72,238 fans was a record attendance at Lucas Oil Stadium for a basketball game. A crowd of 70,930 was on hand for the national championship game in 2010.