Butler has been the definition of an average basketball team this year, but in a season like this one, average is all you need to be to find yourself squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
The 15-12 Bulldogs enter tonight's game with Providence firmly on the at-large cut line in the final days of February. Scanning through some projections, the bracketologists are nearly unanimous in where Butler currently sits:
- Joe Lunardi (ESPN): First Four OUT
- Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): First Four OUT
- Shelby Mast (USA Today): First Four OUT
- Michael Beller (SI.com): First Four OUT
The problem for Butler is that they don't have enough quality wins. Their best victory - a November win over Florida in the Bahamas - is their only Quad 1 win and they're just 1-7 overall in those games. Hurting Butler's resume is the fact that the Dawgs turned around a month later and were hammered by 34 points by those same Gators. Their other good wins - Ole Miss, St. John's, Seton Hall - all came at home and all three of those teams are in the back of the NCAA Tournament field.
Butler's last opportunity for a quality win is this Saturday at reeling Villanova. Outside of that, they have the home-and-home against Providence and Senior Night against Xavier. 3-1 (projecting a Nova loss) might not be good enough without a deep run in the Big East Tournament in New York and Butler may have to beat the defending champs at their place to put themselves on the right side of the bubble.