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Butler Surging Again

Posted by Jay Sanin on 1/10/2017 7:44:50 AM

When Brad Stevens left Butler to coach the NBA's Boston Celtics, it was thought that the Bulldogs would not reach elite levels in college basketball for a long time. But against all odds, Butler looks like an elite team once again after knocking off the number one team in the country. Is another Final Four run in the offing, or is there still some work to be done?

Butler Passing Tests

Big East teams are in an odd position when it comes to scheduling. They are in a conference that is too strong to play only great teams, but not strong enough to warrant them playing mostly cupcakes. So Butler has faced quite a few challenging games to this point in their schedule. During non-conference play, the Bulldogs knocked off a top ten Arizona team, as well as Utah from the Pac-12, in what was a successful warmup period before Big East play.

Now that conference play is underway, the Bulldogs have continued to look strong, as evidenced by their win over Villanova. Ranked number one in the country, the Wildcats were the kind of win that Butler needed to get to prove themselves as legitimate national championship contenders. As they proved in last year's unbelievable championship run, Villanova is not the kind of team to fall apart easily, so it took something special for Butler to force them to fold late.

Butler College Basketball Futures Betting

To this point in the season, Butler has +6600 odds to win the 2017 NCAA Tournament. There is a great payout in store for anyone who backs the Bulldogs, as an odds calculator would tell you. However, there is reason to believe that backing the Bulldogs at this point in the campaign might just be a little premature yet.

The biggest reason for this is that Butler hasn't yet proven themselves in a hostile environment. Butler has road games still to come against Creighton, Xavier, and Villanova, the three ranked teams that join Butler in the Big East. If Butler can win a couple of those games, they would be well worth consideration to lift a championship trophy this year.

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