#45 Butler Bulldogs: College Basketball 111 in 111

butler bulldog cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Butler Bulldogs pre-season began on a rough note with expected starting point guard Chrishawn Hopkins getting dismissed from the team.  Still, Brad Stevens has enough talent on the roster to bounce back from a less than stellar year in the Horizon League and be extremely successful in transitioning to the Atlantic 10 Conference.

[Read more…]

Butler Projected to Win Horizon League, Two Chicago Teams Picked at Bottom

brad stevens butler

For the third consecutive year, Butler has been picked as the Horizon League favorite in the annual preseason poll of league coaches, media and SIDs. Makes sense given how they’re coming off back to back national title game appearances, and have been far and away the class of the HL the past three college basketball seasons. (Also the only mid-major to earn their own Category here on TSB)

The Bulldogs received 468 points in the poll. Detroit, with 19 first place votes, picked up 453 points. Cleveland State received two first place votes and was tabbed third with 388 points, while Milwaukee picked up the remaining first place vote and finished fourth in the poll with 356 points. Cleveland State and Milwaukee tied with Butler for the Horizon League regular season title a year ago.

Our two local teams, Loyola and UIC, were picked dead last and penultimate. Ah yes, sweet home Chicago!

For our season preview of Butler go here

[Read more…]

#28 Butler Bulldogs: College Basketball 111 in 111

butler cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Maybe I haven’t learned my lesson and should be ranking the Butler Bulldogs higher after back-to-back trips to the National Championship game.  However, Brad Stevens loses three of his top four scorers and has a lot of inexperience on his roster.

[Read more…]

Loyola Ramblers Always Seem to Give Butler Bulldogs FITS!

loyola-butler

In the modern era of college basketball, only one school in the state of Illinois boasts a national title. Guess which one.

The Illinois Fighting Illini? Sadly no, but they probably are the strongest program in the nation never to have cut down the nets. DePaul was great in the ’80s, how about the Blue Demons?

Nope, it’s actually the Loyola Ramblers, vintage 1963.

The Ramblers also went to the sweet sixteen in 1985. Unfortunately, they haven’t been back to the dance since then. But there is one team with which every game has a March type atmosphere. That would be last year’s national runner-up, the Ramblers’ Horizon League rival Butler Bulldogs.

In Wednesday night’s conference opener for both teams, the Butler-Loyola rivalry saw another nail-biter, as the Bulldogs handed LUC their first loss of the season 65-63 at the Gentile Center. Last year, when BU made their historical Final Four run, Loyola lost 48-47. I guess you could call both these games “moral victories.”

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

99 in 99: #20 Butler Bulldogs

butler final four

The Hoosiers analogy was used about 37.4 million times during the NCAA Tournament, but what a story it was.  Mid-major Butler making a run to the National Championship in their home city and coming inches away from a half-court heave of walking away with the title.  With a solid core returning from last season, Brad Stevens is ready to prove that last year was no fluke for the Bulldogs.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors.  Click here if you missed teams #21-#99.

By: David Kay
[Read more…]