INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Butler Bulldogs will be making the trip back to the NCAA Tournament starting next week. However only questions that remain are where will it be headed?, What will its seed be?, and Who will the opponent be?
While the Bulldogs were certainly disappointed in their showing at the Big East Tournament after losing in the 2nd Round to Xavier 67-61 in overtime, Butler will look forward to the announcement of pairs tonight.
The Bulldogs have an impressive tournament resume finishing the season 22-10 and finishing 3rd in the Big East at 12-6. Their season includes marquis wins over tournament-bound North Carolina, Georgetown, St. John's (twice), Xavier, Providence, and Belmont.
It was an impressive first season under head coach Chris Holtmann, who many believed should have won Big East Coach of the Year, but finished behind Villanova's Jay Wright. He led the team to an impressive start to the season despite having an interim tag attached to his title and truly formed into one of top teams in the country.
Butler heads into the tournament ranked 32 in the RPI with a strength of schedule of 43. They finished 8-10 against the RPI Top 100 and didn't have a loss to anyone ranked below 98. The Bulldogs finished 7-4 on the road, 2-3 on a neutral court, and 13-3 at home.
Despite missing sophomore Andrew Chrabascz for four games, Butler finished the season 8-4 over its final 12 games and looks dangerous heading into the NCAA Tournament with the power forward back in the lineup and nearing full strength.
As seen in the past, Butler has always been a difficult matchup for opponents in a tournament setting. Their physical nature defensively, ability to rebound extremely well, and patience on the offensive end force opponents into impossible situations.
Wherever the Bulldogs fall in the tournament seeding the Bulldogs will be someone that the higher seeded teams didn't want to see in their bracket.