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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is Butler this year's George Mason (or Butler for that Matter)?

When we watch the NCAA basketball tournament, our eyes are squarely focused on a few things. First and foremost is how well the teams we have picked in our bracket do(and how many upsets we correctly pick).  Then, after a team like a Richmond or a Florida State blows up our bracket faster than an H-bomb, we tend to shift our focus on the one or two teams remaining that we feel have the best shot of cutting down the nets. Finally, while assessing who the favorites are, we come across that one team who could be this year's cinderella, i.e, George Mason a few years ago, or even Butler last year.

And when it comes to sleepers picks, the 2010-2011 college basketball season is no different from any other year.  Some people might have even begun to conclude that George Mason had a legitimate shot until the Ohio State Buckeyes introduced them to how college bb is supposed to be played today.

Having said that, who is this year's cinderella candidate to make it to the final four?  Richmond,? Florida State? Or perhaps Marquette? It seems unlikely the former two would be realistic candidates, only because their respective paths would have to go through Kansas.  Kansas has been upset before(look at last year), but something tells me this year's Jayhawk squad is a bit stronger.

And then there is Marquette, who, if they get past North Carolina has to play the winner of Ohio State-Kentucky. Good Luck with that.

No, could it be that this year's Butler is actually Butler?  Butler shocked the world when it made the final game last season, surely it couldn't do it again?

Why not?

Butler has already established itself as a giant killer, having upset number one seed Pitt .  The hardest remaining test it could face on the road to Houston is a Florida team that many believe to be the worst of the no. 2 seeds.

Not only that, but Bulldogs head coach Brad Stevens is one guy who knows his x's and o's.  Or it at least seems that way.

Finally, if the Bulldogs are indeed this year's cinderella, it will need more strong performances from its center, Matt Howard.  People like to talk about x-factors all day, yet he might be the biggest x-factor out there.

So, will Butler repeat last year's magic?  Odds are against it.  Yet this is March Madness, so never say never.

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