No Return of the Mack to Butler, Shelvin Stays in NBA Draft

shlevin mack

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. He’s the second Butler player in two seasons to leave early for the NBA Draft.
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Butler’s Shelvin Mack Testing NBA Draft Waters

shlevin mack

Butler’s Shelvin Mack has officially submitted the necessary paperwork to declare for this year’s National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft. He has not hired an agent and has followed all of the guidelines to retain his eligibility.

“I’m exploring my options and gathering information to see what opportunities might exist for me,” said Mack, who completed his third season with the Bulldogs.

“I’ve always had a dream to play in the NBA, and I want to make an informed decision on that possibility.” Mack sparked Butler’s run to a second consecutive national championship game. He averaged 20.3 points in Butler’s six NCAA tournament games, and he led or shared the team lead in scoring in five of the six tournament contests. The 6-3 guard had 30 points in Butler’s victory over top-seeded Pittsburgh, and he tallied 27 points in the Bulldogs’ win over second-seeded Florida.

He set a Butler NCAA tournament record with 122 points in this year’s Division I National Championship. “It’s really exciting any time you have a player and person of Shelvin Mack’s calibre who is in a position where we can do the research on what his NBA opportunities might be,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens. “We look forward to helping him through every step of this process and gathering information to help him with his decision.”

Mack, who started 37 of 38 Butler games this past season, was Butler’s second-leading scorer in 2010-11 with a 16.0 average. He led the Bulldogs in assists (131) and finished third on the team in rebounds (4.5). He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Southeast Regional, and he was picked to the All-Tournament Team at the Final Four for a second consecutive year.

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UConn Huskies Beat Butler Bulldogs in UGLIEST NCAA Title Game EVER

In Oliver Stone’s classic film Wall Street, the iconic main character Gordon Gekko describes terrible, worthless stocks as “dogs” and “dogs with fleas.” In another line of dialogue, he asks his mentee Bud Fox. “I bet you were up all night analyzing that dogshit stock?”

I guess Mr. Gekko didn’t like canines too much.

His metaphors certainly apply to a college basketball game that the NCAA would probably want us all to erase from our memory. If you were tweeting along with the Butler Bulldogs vs. UConn Huskies national title game tonight, you probably noticed a lot of people saying some nasty things about the 53-41 UConn win. Harsher words than “dogshit” even.

By Paul M. Banks

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Butler vs. UConn: National Championship Drinking Game

brad stevens butler

Welcome to the third annual NCAA Tournament Championship Drinking Game, one of our favorite articles every year here at The Sports Bank.  If you missed our first two editions, you can check the 2009 Michigan State vs. North Carolina version and last year’s Butler vs. Duke one.

Even if you do not have a rooting interest in tonight’s game between Butler and UConn, invite some friends over, buy a heck of a lot of booze, follow our drinking rules, and it will be as much fun as if your own team was playing.

Our lawyer insists we add the following: The Sports Bank is not responsible for anyone dumb enough to actually try this and the harm to his/her body that would certainly occur if this game was played.  If you are idiotic enough to attempt keeping pace with this game, please have your local emergency room on stand-by and do not drink and drive.  Thank you.

By: David Kay and Peter Christian
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10 Butler-UConn National Title Game Questions

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It’s finally here, the Super Bowl of college basketball. The end of all the madness that March left will be resolved on Monday night between the Butler Bulldogs and Connecticut Huskies. I think Butler has the advantage with the experience and better guard play (sorry Kemba Walker). If Butler can force this young UConn team to make mistakes, they should win.  It should literally be an old fashioned dog fight – and not the kind that Michael Vick is invited to.

Here are 10 questions that will need answered for Monday’s National Championship Game:

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Final Four Posts Best TV Ratings in Six Years

ashley-judd

People said this tournament final would put up bad television numbers because it was the first to feature two mid-major programs. Media experts said those small schools, and the fact that no true big markets are prominently featured among the final four universities would be ratings death.

They were wrong.

CBS coverage of this Final Four on Saturday, April 2 earned an average national household rating/share of 8.9/17, which ties with 2010 as the highest rated Final Four since 2005.

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Can Butler’s Matt Howard Make it in the NBA?

matt-howard

Matt Howard of the Butler Bulldogs is to committing a good hard foul what Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is to being unfunny and possessing no wit.

Howard benefited greatly from sophomore Center Andrew Smith breaking the starting lineup. This allowed Howard to move from the five to the four, giving him more experience playing the only position he has a legitimate chance of playing at the next level. Howard, lost weight in the offseason and improved his jump shot.  He’s a great college basketball player, but his skills do not necessarily translate to the next level.

Still, he could get serious looks due to his intangibles and actually make a roster due to his winning ways and the energy he brings. And he’s smart too, Matt Howard was the Academic All-American of the year.

By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

Go here for our NBA draft stock analysis of Shelvin Mack

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Who Really Thought the UConn Huskies Would Get Here?

Kemba Walker nba

The Connecticut Huskies have quietly been the surprise of the season. Butler and VCU are the surprises of the tournament, yes, but no one expected this out of Connecticut.  This season has been full of surprises, but there hasn’t been one bigger than the progression of the Connecticut Huskies.

The team went through the Jim Calhoun recruiting violations and his possible retirement.  They were considered a team that was too young and couldn’t handle the distractions that surrounded them. They were considered to only be a one man show and no way could they survive the Big East. Then, they started off the season surprising top 10 ranked teams in the Michigan State Spartans and Kentucky Wildcats in Maui. Everyone fell in love with Kemba Walker and named him king of college basketball. Until the Jimmer took over, Kemba was the nation’s leading scorer.

But then the inexperience and youth showed itself during the rigorous Big East schedule while the Huskies struggled down the stretch. With only a 9-9 record in the conference they were more like the team they were supposed to be – a young team with talent that wasn’t ready.

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Butler Overpowers Wisconsin 61-54: Sweet 16 Rapid Reaction


Wisconsin’s dynamic duo of Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer appeared to run out of gas as they combined for an ugly 7-of-31 (.226) from the field in a 61-54 loss to the #8-seeded Butler Bulldogs.

For the fifth straight year, the Badgers have been knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by a mid-major team (UNLV, Davidson, Xavier, Cornell and Butler).

“We just needed to put a few more minutes together here tonight so we could keep dancing, but the music stopped playing. So we just wish Butler the best of luck in their journey for what they’re looking for,” said Badgers Head Coach Bo Ryan.

By: Nick Grays

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Butler Bulldogs Prepare for Wisconsin Badgers in NCAA Sweet Sixteen

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If college basketball has an Alexander the Great, it’s probably Butler Bulldogs head Coach Brad Stevens. Like the ancient ruler who conquered half the known world before his 20th birthday, Stevens has accomplished a lot at a very young age. He graduated from college in 1999, but he’s already taken a team to within three points of a national title, and three sweet sixteens.

Only five coaches in NCAA men’s basketball history have reached 100 wins faster than Stevens and none has done it in the last three decades. Butler will make its fourth “Sweet 16” appearance in nine years when they meet the No. 4 seed Wisconsin in the Southeast Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The game between the two Midwest (and very, very white) teams is scheduled for a 8:57 p.m. (CT) tip and will be televised on TBS.

By Paul M. Banks

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Head NCAA Referee Explains Bizarre Ending of Butler-Pittsburgh Game

brad stevens butler

It was the most talked about college basketball game of the weekend; and not just because it featured a big upset. it had one of the weirdest endings to march madness that we’ve seen in awhile.

Minutes after the ending of No. 8-seeded Butler’s bizarre, 71-70, win over No.1-seeded Pittsburgh in the Southeast Region’s third round game, both the Atlanta (Matt Winer, Steve Smith, Seth Davis and Phil Martelli) and New York (Ernie Johnson, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Rick Pitino) NCAA Tournament studio shows aired interviews with John Adams, National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating.

Atlanta

On the crucial calls between Butler and Pittsburgh at the end of the game:

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Butler’s Brad Stevens Suffers Eye Injury

brad stevens butler

Butler head coach Brad Stevens is resting at home after suffering what was
described as corneal edema. Stevens left the court late in the first half of Butler’s home game with Loyola (Chicago) and was taken to the office of Dr. John Abrams, Butler’s team eye doctor.

“Right now, I can’t see and my eye feels like it has a thousand scratches,” said Stevens from his home. “My vision got progressively worse as we were getting ready to start the game, and by the final media timeout of the first half, I could not see the other end of the court and everything in front of me
was blurry.”

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