RTC Live: Butler @ SienaPosted by rtmsf on November 23rd, 2010
Game #31. RTC Live visits Siena for the first time as the national runner-up Butler comes to town tonight.
The Butler Bulldogs arrive in the 518 area code tonight for a rematch with the Siena Saints. Under the leadership of coach Brad Stevens, the Bulldogs made a scintillating run at the NCAA championship, coming within two points of knocking off No. 1 seed Duke in one of the greatest games in recent memory. Unfortunately, yet another Butler underdog win was not to be, and forward Gordon Hayward’s halfcourt heave rattled in and out, giving Duke a 61-59 victory. Hayward took his talents to the NBA in the offseason and is now with the Jazz, but Butler managed to retain and extend up-and-coming coach Brad Stevens, who at age 35, has enjoyed a prodigious rise along with mid-major Butler. Star guard Shelvin Mack and post player Matt Howard look to provide the one-two scoring punch for the Bulldogs, while on the Siena side, the Saints turn to their own inside-outside duo in Ryan Rossiter and Clarence Jackson. The Saints have struggled in the early going, dropping the first two games of the season to Vermont and Minnesota, respectively, before bouncing back with a win over Northeastern. For its part, Butler dropped a high-profile matchup with Lousiville in the season opener before going two-for-two in its last two contests. This game features a matchup of a team that has arrived nationally as a midmajor giant-killer (Butler) and a program that is trying to emulate the kind of sustained success Butler has enjoyed this past decade (Siena). Tonight’s game is a rematch of last year’s Bracketbusters matchup, which saw the Bulldogs pull down a 70-53 victory en route to a 33-win season.