Butler basketball moved to No. 5 in the AP poll this week but will be tasked with defending its home court against nationally-ranked Seton Hall next.
Butler basketball has been one of the most impressive teams in the country to begin this season and has risen to the No. 5 spot in the AP Poll as a result. Despite entering the season facing low expectations, the Dawgs have launched out to a 15-1 (3-0 BE) record. Considering Butler’s strong quality of wins to this point, the team has emerged as a legitimate contender for the Big East and national titles. With that said, though, the team’s next opponent fits that same criterion.
Seton Hall will be Butler’s next challenger as it arrives in Hinkle Fieldhouse for an exciting battle between ranked opponents on Jan. 15th. While the Dawgs sit at No. 5 in the country, the Pirates currently hold the No. 18 spot. Behind plenty of starpower and an elite defense, the Pirates sit at 12-4 (4-0 BE) on the season and are riding a six-game winning streak heading into the contest.
Here is a quick overview of how these teams match up on paper:
NET Ranking: Butler – 2nd | Seton Hall – 19th
KenPom Ranking: Butler – 4th | Seton Hall – 13th
Adjusted Tempo: Butler – 330th | Seton Hall – 123rd
Adj. Off. Efficiency: Butler – 25th | Seton Hall – 39th
Adj. Def. Efficiency: Butler – 6th | Seton Hall – 10th
These two teams are quite evenly matched and represent the last remaining unbeaten teams in Big East play. As a result, they should be regarded as the favorites to win the regular-season title moving forward. This meeting in Indianapolis marks a pivotal game early in the conference schedule to name a leader atop the Big East. Butler is currently regarded as the better team and owns home-court advantage, so it will likely be the favorite.
Nonetheless, this will be very tough challenge for the home team. Now, with tip-off approaching between the two ranked opponents, let’s dive a bit deeper with a game preview. This article will provide some opponent intel on Seton Hall, three potential keys to success for Butler, and a pregame edition of my Hark’s Bark.