A Closer Look: Butler

Previous editions: Creighton

The Bracket Matrix on February 9 lists Butler as a 5 seed, whereas BoW lists them as a 2 seed. Initially I suspected my formula was over-valuing the Big East and thus seeding everyone from the conference higher than was warranted. I’ve made a modification in my formula to remove the Conference Strength parameter which seems to have corrected this inconsistency (most notably, Creighton dropped from a 2 seed to a 4 seed after this revision). However, Butler only dropped from a 1 seed to a 2 seed.

Why is Butler rated so highly?

  • A lot of quality wins. Butler has a neutral site win over Arizona and Indiana, home wins over Villanova, Cincinnati, Xavier, and Northwestern, and 2 wins over Marquette.
  • Losses are always close (except against Creighton). Butler’s non-Creighton losses are by 1, 3, and 4 points. There appears to be a match-up problem with Creighton, where Butler has lost by 9 and 11 points in their season series, but it’s easy to look past that when only 1 team on the schedule has given them fits. The Indiana State loss is pretty bad, but it was by 1 on the road in what had to be the Sycamores biggest game of the year.
  • Very strong schedule. BoW rates Butler as the toughest schedule played so far in all of college basketball. A true round robin in a strong conference accompanied by a non-conference slate which included Arizona, Cincinnati, Utah, Northwestern, Indiana, and Vanderbilt; all of which Butler won.
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