Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 1/20/13
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

Rodgers: Packers fans ‘should be really excited’ about season

Ball brothers’ H.S. coach details how hard LaVar Ball is to work with

Philip Rivers shares thoughts on Chargers possibly drafting QB

Molina rips Jones for saying Puerto Rico celebrated early

Bill Murray goes nuts celebrating Xavier’s upset

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pat Kelsey ditches UMass right before first press conference

Report: Top GM candidates not interested in Redskins job due to Daniel Snyder

Carmelo Anthony: Knicks were more free-flowing before triangle emphasis

Report: Deal in works for Raiders to play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas

Yoenis Cespedes: MLB would grow if they played with Latin culture

Georgetown fires John Thompson III after 13 seasons

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

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

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker