Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ten years of Butler Basketball

The shots just didn't go in. i was so confident that Butler was not going to lose and we would have won on just a decent shooting night. Matt Howard and the other seniors deserved to end with a national championship. That's what hurts the most. One of the 5 principles of the Butler Way derived from the "Non-Negotiables" according to Dick Bennett "Thankfulness: Graceful gratitude for every experience, each high win, low loss and hard practice. The pleasure of realizing that each occurrence is a teaching opportunity, a lesson that can be applied to a future challenge." On first thought, the experience gained would be applied to the game of basketball, but for this group of seniors, that was it. Somehow the tragic shooting night from hell will have to be translated into a life lesson off the court. The Butler seniors all took blame.  

But maybe it was my fault. While i wore the same unwashed shirt/jeans as the previous games. i wore a brand new pair of socks, didn't make everyone sit in the same seat as the night before on the couch, relocated the Butler basketball bone the day of the game, and maybe i should have went with the Bulldog boxers. i even denied friends from coming over to watch the game as not to introduce any type of jinx. One reason i decided not to go to Houston was simply because i have seen Butler lose in person to finish their post-season NIT and NCAA tournaments every year since 2002. i figured if i wasn't there, it could not end in a loss. But as the dude at says, "It always ends with a loss."

In the past ten years i've driven over 6698 miles for Butler basketball, not counting regular season games or Horizon League tournaments. We've participated in two NIT tournaments and made six NCAA appearances resulting in two Sweet Sixteens and finished as the National Runner-Up two years in a row. Not bad for a mid-major. i am definitely thankful to be a fan of a team that has seen as much success as we have and can't wait to see where the next 10 years will take us.
The past 10 years - who we lost to  (miles i traveled per tournament):
2002 - Syracuse (NIT) 66-65 OT (649 miles...not counting additional miles for a stop at Niagara Falls)
2003 - Oklahoma (Sweet 16) 65-54  (486+810 = 1296 miles)
2004-2005 - no post season tourney
2006- Florida State (NIT) 67-63 (845 miles)
2007- Florida (Sweet 16) 65-57 (526+277 = 803miles
2008 - Tennessee (Round of 32)76-71 OT (490 miles)
2009 - LSU (First round) 75-71 (93 miles)
2010 - Duke (Championship game) 61-59 (568 miles)
2011 - UConn (Championship game) 53-41 (405+704 = 1109 miles)

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