Butler, back to back National runners-up, not headed to NCAA Tournament

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As hot a coaching commodity as Brad Stevens is, his stock will decrease just a tiny bit in value this year.

It’s official now, the Butler Bulldogs, who made it all the way to the national title game both last year, and in 2010, will not be in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Valparaiso Crusaders (20-11) eliminated Butler (20-14) tonight in the Horizon League tournament, the Bulldogs only way in this March.

In the conference tournament semifinal game, Valpo owned Butler on the glass, outrebounding the Bulldogs, 39-22, resulting in 16 second-chance points. Ryan Broekhoff, the Horizon League Player of the Year, justified the vote, posting his 12th double-double of the year with a game-high 19 points and career-best 16 rebounds.

The Crusaders became the first team to beat Butler three times in a season since Wright State pulled the deed in 2004-05.

Chrishawn Hopkins led the Bulldogs with 18 points, while Erik Fromm added 12 off the bench for Butler, which shot 33.3 percent on the night.

The Horizon League is certainly not a multiple bid league this year, probably not even a two bid league. Maybe top seeded Valpo has a shot, but not Butler, who sport a RPI of 111 and a SoS of 117. Then you look at the results of their schedule, and it just gets kind of ugly. Sorry guys.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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