The Duke Blue Devils, following their victory over the Wisconsin Badgers, claimed their fifth national championship for men’s basketball on Monday night. Mike Krzyzewski‘s crew defeated Bo Ryan’s in the final to conclude the 2015 March Madness NCAA basketball tournament. The final score from Indianapolis was 68-63.
For the Blue Devils, the victory restores one of college basketball‘s most prestigious programs to eminence. Since last winning the championship in 2010 the Blue Devils suffered a couple early round losses to unheralded programs. But with the title on Monday night, Coach K. has silenced any criticisms that came from underachievement in some recent seasons.
For the Badgers and Bo Ryan, the loss has to be devastating. That is especially the case given that Wisconsin were the favorites heading into the contest and they held a nine-point second half lead. Furthermore, Wisconsin, a school not known for appearances in college basketball’s final game, will lose their best player before the start of next season.
Frank Kaminsky, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, has run out of eligibility and he will soon join the professional ranks. The Badgers could also lose Sam Dekker, a junior, to the NBA if the forward decides to go that way. While the Badgers will still have some talented players returning next season without their normal one-two punch, Bo Ryan will probably be looking at re-building at the ripe old age of 67.
That’s not a situation that will likely land Wisconsin with a 9-point lead in the second half of the national championship any time soon. Duke could very well be back in the national final next season but the hopes of Badger fans may have just come and gone for an entire generation.