Duke won its fourth national championship Monday night, forcing Butler's Gordon Hayward to miss with four seconds left to hold off the Bulldogs 61-59 and end the tiny school's run at the title.
Kyle Singler had 19 points for the Blue Devils and Brian Zoubek rebounded Hayward's miss and hit one free throw with 3.6 seconds left to give Duke a two-point lead, ending Butler's try for a "Hoosiers" sequel one win short of the Hollywood ending.
The Blue Devils (35-5) snapped Butler's 25-game winning streak and brought the long-awaited fourth national title back home to Carolina and the Cameron Crazies.
The "Big Three" - Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith - won the Big One for coach Mike Krzyzewski, his first championship since 2001 and the fourth overall, tying Coach K with Adolph Rupp for second place on the all-time list.
"First of all, it was a great basketball game. I want to congratulate an amazing Butler team and their fans," Krzyzewski said. "Fabulous year. We played a great game, they played a great game. It's hard for me to say it, to imagine that we're the national champions."
Nobody figured this would be easy, and it wasn't - no way that was going to happen against Butler, the 4,200-student private school that turned the tournament upside down and drove the short distance from its historic home, Hinkle Fieldhouse, to the Final Four.
Butler (33-5) shaved a five-point deficit to one and had a chance to win it, when its best player, Hayward, took the ball at the top of the key, spun and worked his way to the baseline, but was forced to put up an off-balance fadeaway from 15 feet.
He missed, Zoubek got the rebound and made the first of two free throws. He missed the second one intentionally, and Duke's title wasn't secure until Hayward's desperation heave bounded out.
What a game to end one of the most memorable tournaments in history, the kind that could be history if the NCAA goes ahead with what an expansion to 96 teams - something very much on the table for next year.