Brad Stevens has done it again.
A year after leading his Butler Bulldogs within one desperation heave of the National Championship, he has them back in the Final Four. The latest victim was the Florida Gators. The bigger, faster, stronger, way more athletic and from the SEC Florida Gators. Give Butler credit. Despite everything they had going against them Butler simply kept the game close and when it was winning time they locked down their defense and kept their composure. It’s a direct result of Brad Stevens’ philosophy of no excuses and just getting the job done. There are no words available to describe the job he has done with the Butler basketball program.
The same can’t be said for Florida. They looked panicked and shaky towards the end of the second half and overtime. The shots they had at the end to try and win it were proof positive. Terrible choices, but at least they got a shot off… unlike Florida State last night.
Regardless, Good thing I had Butler losing in the first round while the Yankee Loving Fiance almost picked them to go all the way and then this morning said they were going to win. I need to quit while I’m ahead with this crap… seriously.
To say I’m shocked would be an understatement. After all, Butler lost their best player, Gordon Hayward, to the NBA Draft last year. To expect that they would actually get back to the Final Four was something of a stretch. But they have senior leadership and at this stage in the game that’s most important. Seniors Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack have been more than clutch. Mack has done everything you could ask of a senior point guard while Howard has done all the little things, including scoring the game winning points in each of the first two rounds. To quote Gus Johnson… “COOOOOOOOOOLD BLOODED!”
Florida played a great game though and should be commended for the effort they put forward, even if I hate them with a passion. I just can’t deny the work Billy Donovan has done with that program. Yes, he may look like the adult version of Eddie Munster and he may back out of contracts with NBA teams, but he’s a hell of a coach.
So one elite 8 game is down. Uconn and Arizona are going at it as I speak and tomorrow we’ll get to see North Carolina-Kentucky and Kansas-VCU. Hold on tight folks. The Madness is getting even madder.