Hinkle Fieldhouse to get more national attention Saturday

butler bulldogs

The movie “Hoosiers” made it famous, but Butler’s 2010 National title game run made it a tourist destination. I made my first visit to the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse four years ago when I covered the Final Four for the Washington Times. Tomorrow I return to cover my first ever game at the basketball mecca. Northwestern at Butler will be the first nationally broadcast game on Fox Sports this season.

It leads directly into coverage of the Big Ten Football Championship Game, held just a few miles down the road at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium.

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Butler Bulldogs live mascot passes away

butler-blue-II

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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#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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Butler officially leaves Horizon League for Atlantic 10

butler-blue-II

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?

butler-blue-III

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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Butler, back to back National runners-up, not headed to NCAA Tournament

butler-blue-II

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

butler bulldogs

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

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.

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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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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