Team: Butler Bulldogs
Conference: Big East Conference
Coach: Chris Holtmann
Record: 21-10 overall, 10-8 in conference
KenPom Rank: 40
Good wins: over Purdue, at Cincinnati, over Seton Hall twice.
Impact Players: Roosevelt Jones is an unconventional... forwards?... who averages 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game, all without shooting more than one three-pointer this year (he made it). Kellen Dunham averages 16 points per game; Kelan Martin adds another 16 and seven rebounds. The Bulldogs have a deep bench of forwards who contribute to Butler's excellence on the glass at both ends.
How did they get in?: The veteran group was ranked as high as 9th in the nation, but struggled early in Big East play. A late streak helped, though that streak also saw another resounding defeat to Xavier and another close loss to Villanova. Still, the team earned a 9-seed behind the veteran play and strong three-point shooting (39% in conference play).
How far can this team go in the NCAA Tournament?: The Bulldogs can win a game. And maybe they can challenge Virginia in the second round with their shooting. I would say they don't make it out of the first weekend - Round of 32 for the Bulldogs.
Last time in the NCAA Tournament: Last season, Butler fell in overtime in the second round to Notre Dame.