New Orleans – The Sweet 16 is finally here for Butler fans. The Bulldogs play Wisconsin at 9:57 pm in New Orleans.
The team from the Circle City is feeling right at home in the Crescent City. Butler is carrying the confidence and swagger of an 11-game winning streak into New Orleans, but getting to 12 is easier said than done.
“This is as proud of a group as I’ve ever been a part of. We’ve had unbelievable groups. Four Sweet 16s since I’ve been here, a bunch of NCAA tournaments and a lot of unbelievable moments. But to overcome some of the things they overcame and kind of stick together and believe, it’s hard to do. It’s something that’s easier to talk about after the fact or even say in the moment. But to really stick together and be accountable and not point fingers when things aren’t going your way, it’s pretty cool when that happens and good things happen as a result,” said Coach Brad Stevens.
Butler knows how sweet it is to be one of the final 16 teams alive, but this is a program with elite expectations, and getting to the round of eight means getting through Wisconsin.
Butler’s Matt Howard took a stroll down Bourbon Street on Tuesday night, experiencing a strip of restaurants, bars and other hangouts known for lavish parties and excess.
The senior forward knew within minutes that it wasn’t his type of place. Too much flash. Too crazy.
Howard, much like the Bulldogs, is more of a stoic, hard-working Midwestern guy. And when eighth-seeded Butler faces fourth-seeded Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals on Thursday, there will be a lot of that on the floor at New Orleans Arena.
It’s worked for both programs. Wisconsin has become one of the most consistent teams in the country while Butler is in the midst of a second straight deep run in March.
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