The hits keep coming for these Butler Bulldogs in the New Year.
After starting the season out 15-1 and being in competition for a #1 seed in March Madness, the Bulldogs have now lost three in a row and eight of their last 12 games.
The Bulldogs were blasted on Sunday in Omaha, Nebraska, at the CHI Health Center–in what may be one of the toughest Big East venues for road teams.
The loss isn’t what necessarily hurts to a surging Blue Jays Big East contender, but it’s the manner in which it occurred.
The Bulldogs showed little fight, little execution, and hardly resembled the team that looked like a potential Big East champion through December.
The Bulldogs never led in this one, and they trailed by as many as 35 points.
If the Bulldogs hadn’t lost “must have” home games against lower tier Big East teams such as Georgetown and Providence, this blowout loss may not have hurt so bad–but the Bulldogs desperately needed a win to stop the bleeding.
They didn’t get it on Sunday.
In fact, they weren’t even close.
Rather than relive a poor showing (which is the definition of insanity).
I’ll prefer to keep this blog post simple.
A wise coach once said, you’re never as good as you think you are after a win, and you’re never as bad as you may think you are after a loss.
Right now, the Bulldogs may not be the Butler juggernaut that was undefeated aside from a one point road loss to Baylor to start the season.
But we still know that they are capable of being that team with the right adjustments, intensity, and execution.
Maybe the Big East knows these Butler Bulldogs too well, almost like playing your big brother in a backyard basketball game–who knows all of your go-to-moves, strengths, and weaknesses to a fault.
Maybe the officiating has gotten tighter, not allowing the Bulldogs to play as tough and physical defense as they were to begin the year.
What is clear though is that this Butler team has to regroup, rally, and find themselves again–without dwelling too much on a recent losing skid.
Right now, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them projected to be in a #7/#10 seed game against IU in the NCAA Tournament (at Cleveland), which would be a far cry from the top seed that the Bulldogs were once projected as.
The Bulldogs (19-9, 7-8 Big East) will get a week long breather, as they’ll take on DePaul (14-13, 2-12 Big East) at home, 6:30 PM EST (FS1) in a revenge (and must-win) game for Butler–where “the changing of the collar” will occur regarding Butler mascots, Trip and Blue IV.
For Butler’s sake, let’s hope it’s a W.