Blog  Bill Potter · @ ·

INDIANAPOLIS -- 103 hours remain until Butler and Virginia Commonwealth meet in the first National Semifinal on Saturday, April 2 (6:09 p.m. ET, CBS), but already the buildup has begun.  The court has been laid at Reliant Stadium, while t-shirts and other Final Four-related merchandise is flying off the shelves at both Butler and VCU.

Dick Vitale says that the runs of VCU and Butler rank 1-2 in NCAA Tournament history.  The four-team field had about a 300,000,000:1 odds of reaching the Final Four.

The Bulldogs are raising the bar for the Horizon League, writes Andy Katz.

After defeating Florida, Brad Stevens posed an interesting question to his team.  The key to Butler's resurgence has been its defense, as Luke Winn points out (with graphs).

Wayne Larrivee says a Butler-VCU semifinal is fitting in this season.  Gary Parrish isn't sure this season could get any crazier.

Shelvin Mack's mischievous side has been on display during Butler's 13-game winning streak, but it also has displayed his talent and work ethic.

Former Butler assistants Jeff Meyer and Lavall Jordan, both current Michigan assistants, feel connected to this Butler squad.

Andrew Smith's improvement has been a major reason for Butler's success.  WISH-TV profiles the sophomore:

Ronald Nored is also coaching basketball this spring and summer:


Matt Howard was the subject of Rick Reilly's attention.  Khyle Marshall's play the last three games has been a boon to the Bulldogs.

The Houston Chronicle offers a photo gallery of all four Final Four participants.  Storylines abound entering the Final Four.  Regardless of Saturday's results, the story lines are already drawn with David vs. Goliath and Good vs. Evil.

Tags: Butler - Men's Basketball · Horizon League - Men's Basketball
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