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March Madness Bracket: How Scary Is Butler?

John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review argues that Pitt will have a much tougher opponent in Butler than they did against UNC-Asheville:

Pitt certainly won’t overlook tomorrow’s opponent, Butler, which, for one, is taller and more physical than UNC Asheville. For another, Butler almost pulled off the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history a year ago. People still talk about Butler’s improbable run to the Final Four and battling Duke in the title game.

Butler was no fluke a year ago, and the Bulldogs, despite their mid-major status, aren’t one now. Their key returning players have been to one more Final Four than Pitt’s players have.

“Butler’s a great team,‘’ Brown said. "They have four players who started in last year’s national championship game.’’

I won’t argue the idea that Pitt should watch out for Butler. Anything can happen. But this year’s edition was markedly worse than last year’s in Horizon Conference competition, as this year’s team lost twice to Milwaukee and also to Wright State, Valparaiso and Youngstown State. There’s a reason Butler was a No. 5 seed in 2010 and a No. 8 seed this year. Also, while last year’s Butler team was a great story, the Bulldogs probably got as far as they did in 2010 mostly as the result of getting hot at the right time. They weren’t an elite team by any stretch. Certainly, the Panthers shouldn’t overlook them, but they aren’t the world’s most dangerous opponents, either.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.