Butler Bulldogs live mascot passes away

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The Butler Bulldogs live mascot Blue II, the male English bulldog who served as Butler University’s live mascot from 2004-2013, died on Saturday, Aug. 31, due to complications from congestive heart failure. He was 9 years old.

Blue II, (pictured above) trained his puppy protégé.  Blue III, or “Trip,” who made his debut during the Bracketbusters game at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

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

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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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Indiana Hoosiers get caught playing Butler’s game, fall to in-state foe

The No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers have become known for going on scoring tears — particularly on fast breaks — when they can create even the slightest cushion against opponents.

In-state rival Butler never let Indiana have that chance Saturday.

The Bulldogs (8-2) asserted themselves physically against the Hoosiers (9-1), per the custom of Brad Stevens-coached teams, and knocked off the nation’s top-ranked team 88-86 in an overtime thriller at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of the now annual Crossroads Classic.

Butler led by as many as seven before a furious rally by Indiana, fueled by Victor Oladipo’s defense. Freshman guard Yogi Ferrell, who only seconds before had committed a costly turnover, hit a huge 3-pointer before regulation expired to tie the game at 76-76. It was Butler guard Alex Barlow, however, who would have the contest’s final clutch moment, tossing a floater over Indiana’s Jordan Hulls for the game-winner.

The Bulldogs didn’t just step it up late, though. They made sure all game long they’d have this opportunity.

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

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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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Starter on Butler’s two national runner-up teams becomes high school hoops coach

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When I was in high school, all our coaches were significantly older than us. The assistants may be not as much, but there was certainly no one a year or two out of college around. And definitely no one who had recently played on the biggest stage in all of college basketball.

Tomorrow morning, Brownsburg High School in central Indiana will introduce former Butler basketball standout Ronald Nored as the Bulldogs’ new boys basketball coach. Yes, they have the same nickname as Nored’s college team.

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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.

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

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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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#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.

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Butler NCAA Title Game Appearance Generated $500 Million in Publicity Value, Study Says

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You’ve heard the expression- “you can’t buy publicity like that?” Well if you did it would cost $512,382,703, according to a study done by Borshoff, which monitored and evaluated media coverage of the Butler University college basketball team from mid-March to mid-June, 2011. During that period, Butler garnered an estimated half-a-billion $ through television, print and on-line news coverage. When factoring in social media, the audience reach surpassed 69 billion.

Don’t forget all the great Bulldogs articles out there this spring like “Matt Howard’s NBA Draft Stock,” the early entry analysis of Shelvin Mack; which featured numerous Mark Morrison “Return of the Mack” jokes, and coverage of the oppression of their live mascot Blue II.  These pieces were integral to that half a billion dollars.

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Shelvin Mack in NBA Draft Process, Excited about Meeting Michael Jordan

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Shelvin Mack, who helped lead the Butler Bulldogs to back-to-back college basketball national title game appearances, has foregone his final season of eligibility and will remain in this year’s NBA draft.

So far, Shelvin Mack worked out with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves, and he’s met with the New Orleans Hornets, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats and Chicago Bulls. He’s the second Butler player in two seasons to leave early for the NBA Draft.

By Paul M. Banks

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Butler’s Khyle Marshall Added to U19 USA Team Tryouts

Butler Bulldogs forward Khyle Marshall is one of five college basketball players invited to participate in the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team training camp, June 17-24 at the U. S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. A total of 21 players will be competing for a spot on the 12-member team that will represent the United States at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship in Latvia.

Marshall, one of the highest rated recruits under Brad Stevens, helped Butler to the 2011 NCAA National Championship game. Marshall was extended an invitation by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.

Interesting aside about Marshall, is that he strongly considered attending Marshall University. So he would have had his name on both the front and back of the jersey during his college career. Try having fun with that old “it’s-not-the-name-on-the-back-of-the-jersey-but-the-name on-the-front-that-matters” platitude with him.

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