The Butler Bulldogs, coming off their most successful season in history, have their work cut out for them this year. The Butler University Men’s Basketball team, perennial underdogs in the NCAA tournament, finished with an incredible 30-4 record in the 2007-2008 season. They took on college basketball powerhouses like Ohio State and Texas Tech and beat them soundly, nearly advancing to the Sweet Sixteen, when their championship dreams were cut short in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Tennessee. Butler University has never won the NCAA championship, despite qualifying for the tournament several times (no easy task for a school with a student body of less than 5,000) and advancing as far as Sweet Sixteen twice in the past five years and three times in the school’s history.
Unfortunately for the Butler faithful, the team has yet to prove itself and faces a mountain of criticism with only one starter, Matt Howard, returning to the team in 2009. Recent superstars have graduated and second-year head coach Brad Stevens has quite the challenge of building up a young team. Butler has seen adversity like this before, however, and has always managed to finish strong in the NCAA Final Four tournament. The Bulldogs play a different style of basketball from most teams, of course, and have dubbed the Butler University Men’s Basketball style “The Butler Way.” It is a style reminiscent of legendary Hoosier Indianapolis Basketball, and it doesn’t revolve around superstars, it revolves around solid teamwork. And solid teamwork is what has worked well for this Butler team, giving them a solid place among Indianapolis sports.
Butler U has hosted some really great teams at their home in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Hinkle Fieldhouse is in itself is worth the ticket as it stands as a monument and memorial to Tony Hinkle, at one time the school’s legendary head coach for Indianapolis basketball, football and baseball. The Fieldhouse was also featured in the 1986 film, Hoosiers. If the game gets too noisy for you, well, make your way on down to the Wildman Room where you can relax in recliners and watch the game on a number of television sets while the bartender mixes your drink. Go Dawgs! Go Butler University Men’s Basketball!