March Madness gambling excitement for Butler is even bigger than last year, which was considered to be a fluke run with the March Madness odds.
While fans and handicappers respected what Butler accomplished last year, nobody expected them to return to the Final Four ever again as they were considered to be a “one hit wonder” that would fade back into the obscurity of the Horizon League.
In fact it is an interesting March Madness betting fact to note that the Butler Bulldogs did not even win the regular season title in the Horizon League and had to win that conference’s tournament to get in.
Butler proved their championship mettle in the Horizon League Championship game with a 59-44 win at Wisconsin Milwaukee as 3.5 point favorites as Matt Howard led the Bulldogs with 18 points and Andrew Smith added 10 rebounds.
Butler has been involved in three nail biters for the NCAA Tournament beginning with a 60-58 buzzer beater win over Old Dominion as 1 point dogs. Howard, along with Shelvin Mack, each had 15 points while Smith added 11. Howard made a tip in basket at the buzzer to extend Butler’s season for a matchup with Pitt.
The Butler Pitt affair was unforgettable for anyone who witnessed it as it had an ending that was unlike any other seen by those who bet on March Madness.
Both teams made stupid fouls in the final seconds with Pitt’s foul bringing Butler’s Howard to the foul line where he made the game winner as the Bulldogs paid out as 8 point dogs in a 71-70 thriller. Howard ended up with 30 points in the win.
Butler dominated Wisconsin 61-54 as 4.5 point dogs in the Sweet Sixteen as the game was not as close as the final score indicated. Howard again led the Bulldogs with 20 points.
Once again it was high wire act time in the Elite Eight round of the Big Dance as Butler rallied from an 11point second half deficit against Florida to score a 74-71 March Madness gambling payout as 4 point dogs. Shelvin Mack dominated with 27 points to put Butler back into the Final Four.