BOSTON -- When Duke staved off upset-minded Butler to win the NCAA men's basketball championship on Monday night, no player in the Major Leagues was happier than Red Sox lefty Scott Schoeneweis. And his enthusiasm had nothing to do with how he lined up his bracket.
Schoeneweis is the only active player in the Majors who attended Duke, and he has stayed an avid supporter since his graduation in 1996.
"I watched them every time they were on -- tried to at least," said Schoeneweis. "My kids have the Duke uniform and the whole thing. When they're playing a tough game, they put the unis on. They're always well-coached. They always play hard. It's just a matter of getting the right amount of talent sometimes."
Yes, Schoeneweis' heart was in his throat when Butler's buzzer-beating attempt came close to going in.
"It was fun," said Schoeneweis, who was able to watch the game on television during the Red Sox's off-night. "I was a lot more nervous watching that game than I am when I'm out on the field."
Was Schoeneweis a Cameron Crazy during his days at Duke?
"I was not a Cameron Crazy. The mean SAT in that group is about 1,580," quipped Schoeneweis. "I went to the Duke-Carolina game at home all four years. We used to play the Fab Five -- we played Michigan and I went to that game."
Though perennial powerhouses often are resented by the average fan, Schoeneweis doesn't understand how that could be the case when it comes to Duke.
"You always think that with Duke, the advantage they have is coaching," said Schoeneweis. "And the kids are unselfish. They know their roles. They're smart players. That's why I never understand why everybody hates Duke so much. The average person, if you're going to root for anyone, you're going to root for these kids. These kids are good students, they don't get in trouble off the court. They do the right thing."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.