Butler basketball is sitting squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble. What will it take to defeat Creighton on the road to move up the seed lines?
Does anyone really know what’s going on in the Big East? After the first few weeks of the conference season, basically all we have learned is that the top-tier is clearly made up of Villanova and Marquette with the remaining eight teams in a major jumble behind them. With that said, though, someone will need to emerge as the third-best team in the league and the opportunity is there for Butler basketball to swoop in for that spot.
The Dawgs, who have been quite inconsistent throughout this season, have shown signs of being a very good team. At 12-8 (3-4 BE) on the year, Butler sits firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble at this point in time while securing a spot in 60 out of the 87 projected fields on the Bracket Matrix (last updated on Jan. 23). The Dawgs also received a No. 10 seed in my bracketology update that was released prior to their victory over St. John’s and loss to Villanova.
With this said, it is obvious that Butler is still firmly in the NCAA Tournament discussion despite the negativity from some of the fanbase. With over half of the Big East schedule left to play, there is plenty of time for the Dawgs to either fall out of at-large contention or rise to the occasion and play their way firmly into the field. And one way to start working on the latter is by taking down Creighton on the road in their next matchup.
The Bluejays, who hold an 11-8 (2-4 BE) record on the year, also stand on the bubble at this point in time but they have more work to do than the Dawgs. Creighton definitely started their conference schedule quite slow at 1-4 but they recorded a big-time road win earlier this week by taking down Georgetown. Now heading into a three-game homestand, it is reasonable to think that Creighton will come out of the gates looking to secure a big win for their resume. The Bluejays will also likely be out for revenge in this game as they fell at Hinkle Fieldhouse by 15 points just a few weeks ago.
Even though Creighton will likely come out with plenty of energy, though, this should be a closely contested battle. Butler has struggled a bit on the road so far this season but they are probably the better team on paper in this matchup. Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into Butler’s three potential keys to success against Creighton in this matchup. (Note: All statistics used in this article were found via Sports-Reference and KenPom.)