Over the last few years, heroes have been born in the state of Indiana’s college basketball scene. But unlike past years, the heroes weren’t coming from Bloomington, they were emerging from Indianapolis, in the form of Butler Bulldogs.
Long gone were the days of Isaiah Thomas, Steve Alford, and even Jared Jeffries and Eric Gordon. The state was overrun by guys like Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Matt Howard, and the master, Brad Stevens.
After reclaiming the state, albeit briefly, number one Indiana suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, at the hands of their now cross-town rival. Stacked with one of the most talented rosters in the nation, the now 9-1 Hoosiers were outrebounded, outhustled, and outshot in the 88-86 loss, which ironically enough, ended with a missed half-court heave, this time, against the Bulldogs, as opposed to Hayward’s memorable miss in the 2010 championship game.
As big of a story as this is for Indiana – who let’s face it, not many teams go undefeated these days, and with four combined games left against top-10 Ohio State and Michigan, were probably going to lose a couple of games this season – this is one of the bigger wins in the history of Butler basketball.
With wins already this season over North Carolina and Marquette, Stevens is proving that his program is more than a mid major miracle from time-to-time, but a team that will take every opponent to the wire, no matter how prestigious of a team they are.
The Bulldogs have gotten beat up on the glass, which was key for them to win today against a team that doesn’t just rebound well, but shoots the ball well. Butler took Indiana completely out of their game Saturday, in a “mutual” arena, and showed that they’re a team that should be taken as seriously as they were when they were missing half-court prayers to win the biggest of games.
Expect to see them in a few more big games this season, and don’t expect Stevens’ crew to lay down for anyone.
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