Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/19/14

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05: Head coach Brad Stevens of the Butler Bulldogs looks on in the first half while taking on the Duke Blue Devils during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Duke won 61-59. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Last night, Butler beat Gonzaga in the Battle of the Bulldogs at historic* Hinkle Fieldhouse. If you, like me, missed watching it live and are just catching up this morning, take a few minutes to watch the video below. Maybe watch it a few times. What jumps out at you? Chances are a number of things jump out at you. The really poor inbounds pass. The presence of mind of Roosevelt Jones to not panic and just take the ball and make a play. The high degree of difficulty of the shot Jones makes to win the game. The bedlam that ensues on the court after the basket. Dickie V shouting Dickie V things. There’s a lot of college basketball wonderfulness to behold in those 20 seconds of video. But look closer. As my Twitter friend Jeff instructed me to do, watch Brad Stevens. What do you notice? You notice Stevens’ expression and body language not change one iota during the play. If you did not know who he was coaching for, you might think he was the coach of Gonzaga watching his team lose. Look in the upper right hand corner. See Stevens? So…did he just win or lose the game? As the wild action on the court is unfolding, and as the chaos ensues after the shot goes in, Stevens’ face stays the same, his arms stay folded, and he simply turns to walk towards his coaching counterpart Mark Few. You know why? Because Stevens has been there before. And he’s been there in much bigger games and situations than this. You know why? Because Butler is no longer just some cute story or “mid-major” or overachieving little guy. They, like Gonzaga, are simply a damn good basketball program that consistently produces damn good teams … occasionally producing great ones. The amazing Stevens, with the poise of his body language, emphatically drove that point home last night (for those who needed to have it driven home). Is this particular Butler team a great one? We don’t know yet. But as Ari Kaufman mentioned last night, “Name one school with four better wins than Butler this season: IU, Marquette, UNC and Gonzaga.” Umm…? Time will tell if this year’s Bulldogs can reach the heights of the Matt Howard-Shelvin Mack-Gordon Hayward teams. But we need no more time to understand how good this program is. So let’s stop “praising” Butler with back-handed compliments, like the one Jon Washburn described this morning. Referring to the announcers in last night’s game he said: These guys are trying…but they know nothing. Heaven forbid we ever say Butler is talented. They are only smart, physical, and well coached. Dunham was recruited by IU, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Michigan. Think Vitale knows that? NBA scouts liked Dunham more than all but one other player at the Maui invitational – McAdoo from UNC who is gonna be a top five pick. But Butler isn’t talented…yet just try hard. These Bulldogs – and, in fact, all of the Bulldogs teams of recent memory – are smart, physical, well-coached, and talented. In a day and age when conference affiliation means very little, it seems silly to continue looking at the Butlers, the Gonzagas, and the Creightons of the college hoops world as the “little guy” simply because they don’t play in BCS conferences. Yes, they are “underdogs” in the sense of having less money and fewer resources than the big conference boys. But that only makes their achievements more impressive and should garner them more respect, not passing interest and back-handed compliments. Fortunately, we’re getting there. Consider: Butler versus Gonzaga was a nationally televised game last night that a lot of folks were interested in. Butler, a school that has reached two title games in the past handful of years, rushed the court after a win over Gonzanga – showing their proper respect for a terrific program. Butler’s coach felt no need for histrionics after his team’s thrilling victory. Last night was a really good night for college basketball. As an Indiana fan, I am all too familiar with Butler’s terrific program. And, frankly, I’m a fan. Not because they’re the underdog, but because they’re good. Damn good. Year in, year out. Slowly but surely I think the rest of the nation is starting to wake up to that reality too. ***** * – Hinkle Fieldhouse must always be preceded by the word “historic.” It’s sportwriter and sportscaster law.   The post Roosevelt Jones’ Game-Winner For Butler Over Gonzaga (and Brad Stevens’ Reaction) a Microcosm of Bulldogs’ Greatness appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Report: Angels, Rangers talking Josh Hamilton trade

Roger Goodell calls both Los Angeles stadium plans 'viable'

Five-star hoops star Malik Newman commits to Miss State

Crabtree on joining Raiders: 'Ain't got nothing to lose'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Hardy gets in 'verbal altercation' with teammate

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

Report: Chris Sale wanted to fight Yordano Ventura

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Eagles VP Ed Marynowitz says he's not Chip Kelly's 'yes man'

Jonathan Papelbon wants out of Philadelphia

5 most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Steve Carell, Emma Stone to star in Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King film

Calipari’s new project: Create virtual reality experience for fans

Maurice Jones-Drew will retire with the Jaguars on Tuesday

Ovechkin jokes about taking a chair from Nassau Coliseum

Uniform colors have already been picked for Vegas NHL team

Golden State: Not losing to New Orleans, but still snoozing

Ventura, Royals need to simmer down before someone gets hurt

The Mets and their weak opponents

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

5 boring NFL prime time matchups

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

The Ultimate All-Living MLB Team

Dubs wanted to gain momentum for Game 4 ... then won

Teams who need to ace the NFL Draft

10 bold predictions for the NFL Draft

Ten things you need to know about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.