2001 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game

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2001 NCAA Tournament Championship Game
National Championship Game
12 Total
Arizona 3339 72
Duke 3547 82
DateApril 2, 2001
ArenaHubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
LocationMinneapolis, Minnesota
MVPShane Battier, Duke
FavoriteDuke by 3.5
Referee(s)Scott Thornley, Frankie Bordeaux, Ed Corbett
Attendance45,944
United States TV coverage
NetworkCBS
AnnouncersJim Nantz (play-by-play)
Billy Packer (color)
Bonnie Bernstein and Armen Keteyian (sideline)

The 2001 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game was the finals of the 2001 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament and it determined the national champion for the 2000-01 NCAA Division I men's basketball season The 2001 National Title Game was played on April 2, 2001 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The 2001 National Title Game was played between the 2001 East Regional Champions, #1-seeded Duke and the 2001 Midwest Regional Champions, #2-seeded Arizona.

Participants[edit]

Arizona[edit]

Arizona would enter the 2001 NCAA Tournament as the #2 seed in the Midwest Regional. Arizona would crush Eastern Illinois and Butler to reach the Sweet 16. Arizona would beat #3 Ole Miss 66-56 and #1 Illinois to reach the Final Four.

In an emotional season in which coach Lute Olson suffered the loss of his wife, he would be just 40 minutes away from a second National Championship after his Wildcats destroyed the defending national champion Michigan State Spartans. The game was close at halftime with Arizona leading by just 2. However, Arizona outscored Michigan State 48–31 in the second half en route to the 19-point victory.[1]

Duke[edit]

The Blue Devils would travel the same path they took nine years ago when they claimed their last championship in 1992, from Greensboro to Philadelphia to Minneapolis, where they met Maryland for the fourth time that season, this time in the Final Four with a berth in the championship game at stake. Finding themselves down 39–17 with 6:57 to play in the first half and down 49–38 at the half, Duke went on to stage a comeback against the Terrapins and win 95–84 to advance to the championship game. Duke's 22-point deficit and 11-point halftime deficit marked the largest comeback in Final Four history.[2]

Game Summary[edit]

The second-ranked team coming into the NCAA Tournament would leave giving coach Mike Krzyzewski his third National Championship at Duke. Arizona cut Duke's lead to 39-37 early in the second half, but Mike Dunleavy Jr. connected on three three-pointers during an 11–2 Duke run. Dunleavy Jr. led the Duke Blue Devils with 21 points. The Arizona Wildcats would cut the gap to 3 four times, twice inside the four-minute TV timeout. However, Shane Battier proved himself too much for the Wildcats to handle as he hit two critical shots to put the Blue Devils comfortably ahead. Jason Williams, despite a poor shooting night, iced the game with a three-pointer from the top of the key with under 2 minutes to play to give Duke an eight-point lead. The final score was Duke 82 - Arizona 72.

References[edit]

  1. ^ CNN Sports Illustrated. "2001 NCAA National Semifinals: (MW2) Kansas 80, (S4) Michigan State 61". CNNSI.com. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  2. ^ Duke Comes Back, Trips Up Terps, 95–84