The Butler Bulldogs look like they are going to bounce from the Atlantic 10 Conference after only one season. It isn’t their fault that the new Big East Conference is coming calling and that might be the only way (financially) they would be able to keep Brad Stevens. But this isn’t about the Bulldogs long-term plans, this is about them parlaying their (only) A-10 regular season success to some postseason glory.
If the VCU Rams beat the Temple Owls today, Butler will be looking at a first round bye in the conference tournament. While they can surely destroy whatever team they would play in the first round, for resting purposes, a bye would be a significant lift in the odds that Butler makes another run at postseason glory.
Regardless if they get the bye or not, Butler has a different set of expectations then they have had in the past. Maybe they are a victim of their own success, but losing early in the A-10 tourney and/or early in the NCAA Tournament would be considered a monumental step backwards in the seemingly forward push of the Butler program as a whole.
Even though it feels like Butler is only using the Atlantic 10 as a stepping stone (I am positive that wasn’t their original intentions), the two could do wonders for each other in the short time they have left together. The conference will certainly benefit from a strong and exciting tournament while Butler can use the league’s hefty competition to prepare for the NCAA Tournament.
All the teams in the league and the league itself will have its profiled raised when the conference tourney begins. Butler will need to use the Atlantic 10 Tournament as a way to prep for another deep run in the NCAA Tournament. If they were to go deep in the conference tourney, all involved will be winners.
Well, except for the Atlantic 10 after the season.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone