There are currently three ranked teams in Indiana, which includes the No. 18 Butler Bulldogs, No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the No. 5 Indiana Hoosiers. All three of these teams are off to great starts and most people would automatically place the Hoosiers as the best team in the state, but what about Butler?
Butler did beat Indiana head-to-head in overtime by the score of 88-86. That game alone should have decided the bragging rights in the state of Indiana.
The Bulldogs’ best wins on the season have been against No.9 North Carolina at the time and, of course, the No. 1 Hoosiers at the time. However, Butler does have two losses on the year, which came against Xavier on the road and against a very good Illinois Fighting Illini team that was undefeated up until this past weekend.
Indiana’s best wins of the season came against Georgetown and North Carolina, and its only loss of the season was against Butler.
As for the Fighting Irish, they are 12-1 on the year, only losing to Saint Joseph’s in overtime. Notre Dame’s best win on the resume was against the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats at the time.
It is hard to include Notre Dame in the talks of the being the best team in Indiana just yet, since they have arguably not had as tough of a schedule. As of right now, Butler has to be the best team in Indiana for the fact that they already beat the Hoosiers, who are arguably the best team in the nation. Don’t tell Butler that though.
Butler relies on Rotnie Clarke to lead its team, averaging 17.7 points per game. Clarke is one of the most lethal shooters in all of college basketball and he will make teams pay when left open.
Indiana may have one of the best players in the nation in Cody Zeller, but Butler still managed to beat this team on a neutral court when a lot of its players fouled out. Indiana could say that some of its players fouled out as well, but the Hoosiers have the most depth in the country.
It’s not like Indiana had a bad game because Butler just played that good. Indiana is a top five team and a favorite to win the national championship, but Butler has played amazing all season long. Head-to-head matchups should count for a lot, so the Butler Bulldogs have my vote, at least for the time being.
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