The Butler Bulldogs look to get back on track today against the Rhode Island Rams. The Bulldogs have dropped two of their last three games in conference play and need a win to remain atop the logjam that has become the Atlantic-10 conference.
The good news for the Butler is the Rams (6-13 overall, 1-5 conference) come into the game ranked last in the A-10 in field goal percentage (40.5 percent), scoring offense (60.1 PPG) and assists (10.2 APG).
Rhode Island does, however, bring with them Xavier Munford who is the 2nd leading scorer in the A-10, averaging 17.4 PPG. In addition, Rhode Island’s last three losses have, including a 70-64 point loss to VCU, been by a combined 10 points.
So do the Rams have a chance to pull the upset against Butler? The Rams did go to St. Louis earlier this year and beat the Billikens in overtime. That is the same place where the Bulldogs were just embarrassed, 75-58, by the Billikens on Thursday night.
The answer is an emphatic “no” and here is the reason why.
Hinkle Fieldhouse. Period.
The Bulldogs are a perfect 10-0 in Hinkle this season and Bulter’s seniors own a 50-8 record in one of college basketball‘s most historic venues.
The Butler home win against the No. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs on Jan. 19 proved how valuable their home court advantage is.
Head Coach Brad Stevens, who is 79-11 in Hinkle Fieldhouse, is a two-time Final Four coach and knows how to get his team back on track. Since this is the Rams first trip to Butler, Rhode Island has no idea what welcome they are in for.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo