Butler Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Butler Bulldogs

Big East (22-9, 10-8)

After a one-year hiatus, LaVall Jordan has Butler back in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Bulldogs came out of the gates strong this year, starting 15-1 and being ranked as high as fifth in the AP Poll. However, Butler cooled off once conference play began and went just 10-8 in the Big East. Led by star guard Kamar Baldwin, Butler is looking to get to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017. 
Big Wins: 12/7 Florida (76-62), 1/4 Creighton (71-57), 2/5 Villanova (79-76)
Bad Losses: 1/18 at DePaul (66-79), 2/9 at Marquette (57-76), 2/15 Georgetown (66-73)
Coach: LaVall Jordan
Why They Can Surprise:
The biggest strength for Butler this season has been their ability to defend the paint and forcing teams to beat them with outside shots. Opponents have shot just 43.7% from inside the arc this season, which is the 12th lowest mark in the nation. The Bulldogs have also been great at limiting opponents to just one shot per possession. Butler allows only 8.8 offensive rebounds per game, which is just outside of the top-75 best in the country. If Butler can force opponents into taking tough three-pointers without allowing second chance points, they have a chance against just about any team in the tournament. Offensively, Butler takes care of the ball, averaging just 11.3 turnovers per game. The Bulldogs also shoot the ball very well from inside the arc, making 52.9% of their two-pointers. This is a good recipe for Butler to consistently get quality looks on every possession, helping them have the 25th best offensive efficiency in the nation.
Why They Can Disappoint:
As mentioned above, Butler has no problem allowing teams to take three-pointers while they lock down the paint defensively. However, part of why their conference record took a hit is because the Big East has several high-end outside shooting teams. Big East opponents shot 36.7% from deep against Butler, which negated their stingy two-point defense. If matched with a team that is proficient from three, the Bulldogs could be in trouble. Butler is also among the worst teams in the country at getting to the free-throw line. The Bulldogs are 299th in the nation in free-throw attempts. Failing to get easy points at the charity stripe can be damaging in the NCAA Tournament when facing the top defenses in the country.
Probable Starters:
Aaron Thompson, Junior, Guard, 7.2 ppg, 4.7 apg
Kamar Baldwin, Senior, Guard, 16.2 ppg, 3.3 apg, 4.6 rpg
Sean McDermott, Senior, Forward, 11.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Bryce Nze, Junior, Forward, 9.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Bryce Golden, Sophomore, Center, 7.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Key Role Players:
Jordan Tucker, Junior, Forward, 8.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Henry Baddley, Senior, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Khalif Battle, Freshman, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Derrik Smits, Senior, Center, 3.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.5 (255th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.1 (11, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (57, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (22, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (215, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (132, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.8 (111, 5)
Rebound Margin: 4.3 (55, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.7 (209, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (30, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2019NITFirst Round loss to Nebraska
2018NCAARound of 64 win over Arkansas
2018NCAARound of 32 loss to Purdue
2017NCAARound of 64 win over Winthrop
2017NCAARound of 32 win over Middle Tennessee
2017NCAARegional Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2016NCAARound of 64 win over Texas Tech
2016NCAARound of 32 loss to Virginia
2015NCAARound of 64 win over Texas
2015NCAARound of 32 loss to Notre Dame
2013NCAARound of 64 win over Bucknell
2013NCAARound of 32 loss to Marquette
2012CBIFirst Round win over Delaware
2012CBIQuarterfinal win over Pennsylvania
2012CBISemifinal loss to Pittsburgh
2011NCAARound of 64 win over Old Dominion
2011NCAARound of 32 win over Pittsburg
2011NCAARegional Semifinal win over Wisconsin
2011NCAARegional Final win over Florida
2011NCAANational Semifinal win over VCU
2011NCAANational Final loss to Connecticut
2010NCAARound of 64 win over UTEP
2010NCAARound of 32 win over Murray State
2010NCAARegional Semifinal win over Syracuse
2010NCAARegional Final win over Kansas State
2010NCAANational Semifinal win over Michigan State
2010NCAANational Final loss to Duke
2009NCAARound of 64 loss to LSU
2008NCAARound of 64 win over South Alabama
2008NCAARound of 32 loss to Tennessee
2007NCAARound of 64 win over Old Dominion
2007NCAARound of 32 win over Maryland
2007NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Florida
*all team stats through 3/8