butler-bulldogs-win-trophy.jpgA little engine called Butler, the small liberal arts college from Indianapolis, has won 25 basketball games in a row, beating Michigan State last night (52-50), to reach the famed NCAA final.

The Butler Bulldogs, whose odds of winning the NCAA Tournament were 200-to-1, will be the smallest school in 40 years to play for the national title.

Brad Stevens, Butler’s boyish coach of 33, is only three years into his coaching career. In contrast, his rival in the final against Duke is going for his fourth national title, having coached his first game when Stevens was just 3 years old.

Selected months in advance, the venue for Monday night’s championship game (do you think the stars are aligned?) happens to be Indianapolis, giving the Bulldogs, who were 16-0 at home this year, home-field advantage. A win against No. 1 seed Duke could send the city into delirium.

[UPDATE: Tuesday– Of their 61-59 loss to Duke in the final, one commentator said that though Duke had won the nail-biter, no one could say the noble Bulldogs had lost anything.]

(READ more of the Cinderella story in the IndyStar)

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