Butler Bulldogs Up To Old Tournament Tricks In Win Over Texas Longhorns
Butler bested the Longhorns 56-48 in the NCAA tournament’s second round on Thursday. Texas joined the litany of Big 12 sinners by being the third school from the conference to be ousted after just one game, and all within the first few hours of the Round of 64.
It was all surreal, because this Butler team should be different — at least that’s what I’ve seen over the Bulldogs’ last 32 games. Butler averaged nearly 70 points per game (69.6), but the tournament must’ve revived the decaying gods of tempo, because the Bulldogs wouldn’t have put up 70 if they played an additional 20-minute period against Texas.
During the last great Bulldogs run in 2010, Butler put up point totals of: 77, 54, 63, 63, 52 and 59. The first round an outlier output against the lowly UTEP Miners, the final entry from a much closer-than-expected loss to the 2010 champion Duke Blue Devils. The last five games of that run were very similar to the slow-paced and gritty Butler performance against Texas.
The college basketball regular season isn’t even the same species as March Madness. In March, it’s survive and advance, adapt or die. In many instances, a team must forget what’s old hat. Weaknesses must become more closely aligned with strengths or you will quickly suffer death by exploitation. If you can’t be amorphous, then you have no business being in the NCAA tournament. So although Butler is back to being boring again, at least the Bulldogs are adapting in order to advance.
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