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NCAA Basketball Atlantic 10 BasketballButler Bulldogs

Rotnei Clarke’s Return Huge If Butler Bulldogs Want To Return To Final Four

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Butler Bulldogs needed Rotnei Clarke back in their lineup if they wanted to keep up their winning ways and be a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. Clarke returned after missing two weeks with a 24-point effort as Butler beat the Temple Owls. Clarke is lucky he didn’t get hurt worse when he ended up with a severely sprained neck and now Clarke will be counted on to lead Butler back.

Clarke is a special talent and while Butler is a top-15 team no matter what right now, having Clarke in the lineup makes the team a threat to make their third Final Four in the last four years. Butler has proved over the last four years that a team doesn’t need to be in a major conference to do damage in the postseason. If Clarke can get back to the way he was playing before the injury, the Bulldogs should roll right through the rest of their Atlantic-10 Conference schedule and into the tournament.

Butler will always be a special story for me playing in Indianapolis and being so close to winning the title three years ago. I would love to see them actually win the national championship one day with Brad Stevens coaching the team. It appears that college basketball is very balanced this season as well with no dominant team out there so anyone has a chance to win the national title. I think with Clarke now back in the lineup that Butler has the potential to make another run at the national championship and could even win it this time around.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.