Butler Bulldogs 79, UIC Flames 52: Rapid Reaction

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If you read a lot of March Madness bracket projections (as college hoops nerds such as I often do) you might have noticed the Butler Bulldogs beginning the day as one of the last college basketball teams into the field of 68.

So with a road trip to UIC and a home game against Loyola waiting to finish up the conference slate, it was imperative the Bulldogs win big over Chicago’s two Horizon League teams. The first part of the mission was accomplished as Butler crushed UIC 79-52.

UIC led this game for most of the first half, but around 6:30 mark, Butler took over, never looked back and grabbed a 40-27 lead into halftime. They did what they had to in order to keep improving their RPI, winning big.

Because of the opponents’ winning percentage component of the RPI, it was essential that they beat UIC, a team that now stands at 7-15, 2-15 in conference by a very large margin.

By Paul M. Banks

brad stevens

The Bulldogs beat up the flames inside big time, out-rebounding them 39-32 and putting up a 46-20 points in the paints advantage.

Butler bigs Matt Howard and Andrew Smith both finished one rebound shy of a double-double, as Howard had 19 points and nine rebounds while Smith had 16 and 9.

“We had 26 points in the paint out of 40 in the first half. That’s usually a pretty good sign that you’re being aggressive offensive and when our defense matched it the last ten minutes, that’s kind of how it separated,” said Butler Coach Brad Stevens.

Darrin Williams (not be confused with Deron Williams) was held scoreless, while Minnesota Golden Gophers transfer Paul Carter led the Flames scoring with 15.

It was a very disappointing senior day in the Illinois Medical District on the West Side of Chicago, as the Flames got blown out at the Pavilion.

“It’s very disappointing to have these results on a senior day, but Butler is a program that we’re aspiring to be like. Not that Butler is who we’re trying to be, but we’re aspiring for that type of success where your players come out expecting to win and expecting to get results- whether it’s at home or on the road. They’re very impressive, they know who they are and they play to that,” UIC Head Coach Howard Moore said.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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Comments

  1. I LOVE Blue2, their bulldog mascot. He’s so adorable!!! I love my cat Bastet and all, and she’s been the greatest pet ever….And when the sad day comes many years from now, and she “moves to a farm upstate”…I’ll probably get a bulldog like Blue after that

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