UPDATED 2013-2014 preseason top 25 college basketball rankings (part 2)


Here are teams 16-25 in my updated 2012-2013 preseason Top 25 college basketball rankings and other teams who just missed the cut.


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#3 Marquette vs #6 Butler: NCAA Tourney rematch for the ages

marquette vs butler

The Butler Bulldogs have advanced to the third round, it’s still the second round, you’re telling me in a “round” 64/68 teams get a bye? of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and will meet Marquette at Rupp Arena on Saturday, March 23rd in Lexington, Kentucky. The arena is named after legendary villain and Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp who is probably turning over in his grave today. For two reasons: one his Kentucky Wildcats went from National Champs to eliminated by lowly Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT, Not Invited Tournament.

And the bigger reason Rupp is turning over in his grave is because black players dominate both his program and all of college basketball (well maybe not the Wisconsin Badgers or at Notre Dame). Rupp didn’t like black players much, so what a coincidence he was aptly named Adolph. The sixth-seeded Bulldogs, who won their second round game against #11 seed Bucknell, will meet #3 seed Marquette at approximately 7:45 p.m. (ET). Butler (27-8) and Marquette (24-8) will be squaring off for the second time this season.

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Update: Butler star Rotnei Clarke suffers serious injury; out indefinitely


Butler star Rotnei Clarke, who did in Marquette earlier this year with a buzzer beater, and helped take down the then #1 Hoosiers, was injured in Butler’s 79-73 victory at Dayton on Saturday.

He will undergo further medical evaluation. Clarke was discharged from Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and returned to Indianapolis with Butler’s team.

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2012 Maui Invitational Preview and Predictions

maui invitational logo

As much as Feast Week is about stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes; it’s also about sweet college basketball tournaments like the Maui Invitational.  This field is not as stacked as a year ago when Duke needed a pair of Tyler Thornton “Onions” three pointers to beat Kansas in the title game.  Nevertheless here are my predictions from a field which includes North Carolina, Texas, Marquette, Illinois, and Butler.

Here is the link to the official 2012 Maui Invitational bracket.

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#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.

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Butler officially leaves Horizon League for Atlantic 10


Butler University will join the Atlantic 10 Conference beginning with the 2013-2014 season, President James M. Danko announced today.

The move will cover all Butler athletic teams except football, which will remain in the Pioneer League, and woman’s golf. The Atlantic 10 adds a recently historically successful men’s basketball program in Butler to their conference. The only non big six conference to have 41 at-large NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament selections in the past 20 years, including three in 2012, the A-10 has boasted 62 postseason appearances in the last decade.

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Will the Butler Bulldogs rebound and reach the NCAAs next year?


This year, as two of the best programs and college basketball history made their way to the final game to compete for a national title, it was almost a change of pace from the last couple of years. With Butler’s two Final Four runs in 2010 and 2011, it was different to see a Final Four stacked with powerhouses in 2012 while Butler failed to even reach the tournament.

After losing several seniors and junior Shelvin Mack after last year’s runner-up season, the Bulldogs struggled to get going early this season. Especially on the offensive side, this was a team that did not play like prototypical Butler teams coached by Brad Stevens.

By Collin O’Connor

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Brad Stevens not coming to Illini, staying at Butler

brad stevens

So the Illini extended Brad Stevens of Butler an offer, supposedly. The University of Illinois met with Stevens and allegedly gave him an offer similar to what VCU’s Shaka Smart turned down. I guess Illinois A.D. Mike Thomas is not a very good salesman. This is the second big mid-major leader to turn down the chance to step up to the Big Ten.

BU released this statement just now:

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Brad Stevens to the Illini? Settle down everybody


After swinging and missing on Shaka Smart, the University of Illinois has gone full throttle after Butler head coach Brad Stevens. Multiple sources confirm that there has been contact between Stevens and the University. There is confirmed interest on Illinois’ part, but no confirmed interest on Stevens’ part- yet.

So everyone settle down! I’m talking to you message board people.

Yes, negotiations between the two parties have begun, and there’s even tweets/rumors about private jets being flown from Champaign to Indianapolis, but no deal is close to being signed yet. So everyone chill out.

But we can look at why this deal would or would not make sense for Stevens and Illinois.

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10 Non-NCAA Tournament teams ready to make a splash next season


College basketball fans whose team didn’t make the NCAA Tournament are probably already looking ahead to the 2012-2013 season.  Typical tourney teams like UCLA, Arizona, Butler, Villanova, and Maryland should have bounce back seasons next year and vie for a spot in the Big Dance.  Here are ten non-tourney programs to watch out for next season.

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College Basketball: The Week Ahead (12/20/11)

Missouri cheerleaders

College Hoops 101 has undergone a facelift.  My weekly breakdown of the past week in college basketball and look ahead will now be split into two parts.  (Click here for a look at the past week.)  This week’s edition of the “The Week Ahead” looks at the best games of the up-coming week including a preview of the annual Braggin’ Rights game between Missouri and Illinois, and why Xavier will be upset in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic.

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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

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