Boards or bust for Butler

Coach K will have a big size advantage against the Devils' fledgling foe. Getty Images

The "Instant Intel" series is designed to immediately respond to outcomes by looking ahead to the next game.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Its mid-major status has been trumpeted before every round, and when it faces Duke in the final, the stage will be set for a David vs. Goliath showdown. But Butler took down Michigan State without Cinderella-type histrionics. The Bulldogs did it playing Big Ten style basketball.

Before the game, even Spartans coach Tom Izzo was comparing the Bulldogs to a conference counterpart. "They resemble Wisconsin because they don't take a lot of chances. They kind of play from the 3-point line in, very solid." Like Wisconsin, Butler doesn't overextend its D, instead forcing a stuck-in-tar half-court matchup. There, the Bulldogs' taut D does more than just slow things down. It wins games.