INDIANAPOLIS - West Virginia has won more than its share of games this season shooting 41 percent from the floor and getting just five 3-pointers.
In fact, in its previous eight games - and those would be the eight that included the regular-season win at Villanova and runs through both the Big East and NCAA tournaments - the Mountaineers failed to exceed at least one of those standards and four times only met or fell short of both.
It wasn't good enough against Duke in the national semifinals Saturday night, though. Not with Da'Sean Butler playing just 28 minutes and - even before he left the game with a torn knee ligament nine minutes before its conclusion - with the Mountaineers failing to establish any type of run or momentum.
Blame that - or credit it, depending upon one's viewpoint - to Duke's defense.
That was one aspect of the Blue Devils that was largely ignored prior to WVU's season-ending 78-57 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. Talk was of Duke's shooting and rebounding abilities.
And while both were critical to Duke's success - the Blue Devils shot nearly 53 percent and outrebounded the Mountaineers by two - it was how Butler was handled by Kyle Singler that might have made the biggest difference in the outcome.
"We thought the matchup of Kyle and Butler was the key matchup for us,'' Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I hope he's not hurt badly. But even up until the time he was hurt, I thought we still played very well against him.''
Indeed, Butler made just 2-of-10 shots and got six of his 10 points on free throws - two of them on a freebie technical foul. He didn't score at all until West Virginia was down by 13 in the first half and got his second and last field goal when the Mountaineers trailed by 12.