September 6, 2011

Butler To Face Challenging Schedule In 2011-12

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler men’s basketball fans in central Indiana will have ample opportunity to see the Bulldogs in 2011-12.  Butler will play 16 regular season games and two exhibition contests in Hinkle Fieldhouse during the upcoming season, including visits from NCAA Tournament teams Louisville and Xavier.

 “This schedule will provide another great test for our team and will challenge our players immediately. By winter break we should be able to honestly assess our team,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens.  “Every year that’s been our goal, and it’s been a positive for us because we can see where we need to get better.”

“We’re going to face a variety of styles and very good competition in the preseason, and in scheduling that’s what we want to do to get us ready for conference play,” added the Butler coach.

Butler returns eight letterwinners from last year’s 28-10 squad, which advanced to the NCAA Division I national championship game for a second consecutive year.  The Bulldogs captured Horizon League regular season and tournament championships and won the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.  Butler’s NCAA Tournament run included a championship in the Southeast Region and second straight appearance in the Final Four and a second consecutive national runner-up finish.

The Bulldogs will play two exhibition games and five regular season contests at home in November, including a visit from Louisville on Nov. 19.  The Cardinals, who earned a berth in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, were 25-10 a year ago, including a victory over Butler at the new KFC Yum Center.

Xavier, another NCAA Tournament team, will visit Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Dec. 7, for a 9 p.m. (ET) game.  That contest will be televised nationally on ESPN2, one of 13 games the Bulldogs will have on the ESPN family of stations.

Butler’s pre-Christmas road schedule includes four games in the state of Indiana.  The Bulldogs will visit Evansville for the opening of the new Ford Center on Nov. 12 and then will play at Indiana on Nov. 27.  Butler will travel to Muncie for a game against Ball State on Dec. 10 and then meet Purdue, another NCAA Tournament team, in the Crossroads Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse on Dec. 17.

The Bulldogs will close out their pre-Christmas slate with a trip to the west coast for games against NCAA Tournament team Gonzaga on Dec. 20 and Stanford on Dec. 22.  The Gonzaga game will be nationally-televised on ESPN2.

Butler returns to ESPN’s BracketBuster weekend this season, Feb. 17-19, with a home game.    

The Bulldogs will face every Horizon League foe twice, beginning with a game at home against Valparaiso on Dec. 3.  The Horizon League Championship will begin at first round sites on February 28.