Well, it happened again Bulldogs fans. Butler has stunned the nation yet again dethroning Villanova from their number one ranking this time, beating the Wildcats at Hinkle Fieldhouse 101-93. This is nearly the same team but with a different head coach who also upset the Cats back on January 4th, 2017 in the same building. Butler even won at Villanova on February 22nd, 2017 so you guessed it, Butler owns Villanova right now.
Most times when an unranked team dethrones an Associated Press Top-3 team in the country, it takes either a miracle shot or a big performance from one player to do so. Butler didn’t listen to the normal rules of a major college basketball upset and won with an incredible team shooting percentage. The Bulldogs shot 60.0% from the field and 68.2% from distance, which are extremely high numbers that normally would relate to the winning side.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. “I’m proud of our guys; they brought a level of focus that was our best of the season. They kept connected throughout the entire game. You know Villanova would keep fighting, but we have some fight in us too. Hinkle was absolutely amazing today.” (Butler Athletics)
Butler was led by the excellent trio of Kelan Martin, Paul Jorgensen, and Kamar Baldwin who were each playing on another level Saturday afternoon. Martin shot 7/12 from the field including a perfect 4/4 from distance finishing with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Jorgensen in addition to Martin’s solid game produced 23 points on 8/13 shooting from the field and 4/7 from distance along with 5 rebounds and 1 steal. Finally, for Baldwin, he finished with 19 points on 7/18 shooting from the field to go alongside 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals.
Villanova was a sloppy team in the first half that was simply outplayed by the Bulldogs who led 53-45 going into the second half. From there, Butler completely took control of the game extending their lead to 23-points at one point before the Wildcats would attempt a comeback and failed. It was going to take a tremendous effort from Villanova’s defense to slow down Butler’s red-hot offense which did not happen. The Bulldogs would end up tied in scoring at 48-48 in the second half but would hold on for an 8-point victory.
Butler improves to 12-3 on the season and 2-0 in the Big East winners of four straight games. A tough schedule ahead will continue when the Bulldogs travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to face Xavier on Tuesday at 7:00 PM Eastern. The Musketeers at the moment are ranked sixth in the country which shouldn’t matter because Butler now has the confidence to beat anyone.