The Big East Tournament kicks off Wednesday night with the Butler Bulldogs taking on Seton Hall.
The Big East isn’t what is used to be. Many teams bolted for other conferences, prompting teams like Butler to sign up. The Bulldogs enter the tournament with a 14-16 overall record and were just 4-14 in conference play.
Its tough to pin this rough season on just one thing. Certainly the departure of coach Brad Stevens didn’t help, but coach Brandon Miller has done a fine job. Stevens is one of those “once in a lifetime” sort of coaches for the Bulldogs. He’s a tough act to follow and
Losing Roosevelt Jones before the season even began severely hurt Butler’s chances of making noise in the Big East.
But despite these facts, this team has still remained competitive in a lot of games this season.
Butler has already beaten Seton Hall twice this season, the most recent of those two meetings will have been just four days ago by tip off. The past two games have seen the Bulldogs dominate their opponents, winning by a total of 50 points.
The Bulldogs won the first meeting with the Pirates by seven on the road, and the next one by 17 points at home. Logic says that they will win at a neutral site by a score somewhere in the middle. The fact that Butler is on a hot streak, albeit against two of the worst teams in the conference, helps to reinforce this notion.
If the Bulldogs can score at something resembling a consistent basis once again, then their tight defense will carry them to the second round of the tournament.
Unfortunately, the second round is where Butler’s run will end. No. 1 in conference and No. 6 nationally Villanova lies in wait for the winner of this game.
The Bulldogs opened up conference play with a visit from the Wildcats. They lost by three in overtime. In the second meeting, Butler was soundly beaten by 19 points on the road.
Big East Tournament Match-Ups (All games on Fox Sports 1)
Game 1 – 8 Seton Hall vs 9 Butler, 7pm
Game 2 – 7 Georgetown vs 10 DePaul, 9:30pm
Game 3 – 1 Villanova vs Game 1 Winner, Noon
Game 4 – 4 Providence vs 5 St. John’s, 2:30pm
Game 5 – 2 Creighton vs Game 2 Winner, 7pm
Game 6 – 3 Xavier vs 6 Marquette, 9:30pm
Game 7 – Game 3 Winner vs Game 4 Winner, 7pm
Game 8 – Game 5 Winner vs Game 6 Winner, 9:30pm
Game 9 – Game 7 Winner vs Game 8 Winner, 8:30pm
We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the tournament.