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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Bulldogs of Butler

Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown get set for Round Two with the hated Bulldogs of Butler and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  With us today are our good buddies at  Let's do this!

Butler!  What's up with you guys? Are you good or not?

Getting right to the point, I like it.  I liken this year's Butler team to Liam Neeson in the original Taken. They don't necessary have a ton of size, athleticism or individual talent, but what they do have are players with a very particular set of skills that they have honed over a long college career.  Skills that can make playing them a nightmare for teams that do have size, athleticism and individual talent and can frequently leave the opposing fans wondering just how the hell they lost to "those guys".

I think you pretty much ask that question about most teams in the Big East after Villanova.  Butler's certainly not a complete team by any stretch, but really that's the case with almost every other team in this league.

The feeling over at Casual Hoya is that the reason we lost to y'all in the Bahamas was because we had just played our buns off against Florida and Wisconsin and then had to play your cute squad at like noon in a relatively empty ballroom, all within 48 hours.  Tell me this is indeed the reason we lost.

I think the more likely scenario was the Hoyas were coming off an incredibly heart wrenching defeat at the hands of Wisconsin and probably weren't as emotionally ready for the game as Butler, who was handled pretty easily by Oklahoma and wanted to show their win against Carolina wasn't a fluke.  It's not like Butler's 8 man rotation got a ton of rest in their two previous games, so I think that physically the two teams were at least in a similar place, but mentally and emotionally, the Hoyas may not have rebounded from their semi-final game as well as Butler.  Or Butler might have just been better that day, but I'm sure that couldn't have been it.

Has this Butler squad performed above your expectations this season?  At this point, what sort of finish for the Bulldogs would make you consider the season a success?

They certainly have.  Coming into this season, I would have considered a run to the NIT a success and was really just hoping that they'd be more competitive in the Big East than last season.  Right now though I'd consider the season a success if they make the NCAAs.  Could they win a game or two if they get there?  Absolutely, but I think just getting there would be huge for the program and convincing guys to come to Butler in the future.

Chris Holtmann is now your coach for the foreseeable future.  You good with that?

Hell. Yes.  Is he the best coach hands down that Butler could ever possibly have?  Probably not, but he's a guy who really gets what Butler is all about, he's got experience as a head coach and I think he'll be good in recruiting because he knows what the little things might mean in building relationships. Quick side story, after the press conference in their game against Tennessee-Martin, he came around to every media member individually, shook our hands, and wished us a Merry Christmas.  Now maybe a lot of coaches do that, but I've never seen it happen or even heard of one doing it. I was sold long before that moment because I do think he's a good coach, but that sealed the deal for me that he would be a good fit, and hopefully a long-term one at Butler.

Who are the main guys that the Hoyas are going to need to watch out for on Saturday?

Pretty much the same guys as they did in the Bahamas, and it'll mostly be the starters since Butler is ranked 335th in bench minutes.  Really the guy that dictates how well Butler plays though is Roosevelt Jones, and he typifies what this Butler team is all about.  He has no jump shot, his free throws are ugly as sin, he's not particularly athletic or quick looking, but he just does whatever it takes to help his team win.  In games that he has over 0.9 points per possession (which also isn't all that eye-popping), Butler is 10-1.  In games that he doesn't hit that benchmark, they're 3-4.  Oddly enough, Georgetown was one game that he wasn't over that threshold and they still won.

Who would you say your biggest rival in the Big East is?  Any particular fanbase you hate more than the others?

I wouldn't say I hate any fan base, but Butler's biggest rival in this league is Xavier as they've played them by far the most of any of the current Big East teams, and nothing makes me happier (at least in terms of regular season college basketball happy) than Butler beating those guys.  There have been a couple of incidents (both after Xavier losses) in which one of their players punched a Butler player in the face during the handshake lines, then in 2009, after the whole "clock-gate" issue, Mr. Zip em up himself, Tu Holloway went after Butler's clock operator and had to be restrained by the Xavier assistants and then Kenny Frease ripped a water fountain off the wall in the visitors locker room.  Lately their players have been much better behaved, and I certainly respect what they've accomplished as a program, but the misery a loss to Butler causes their fan base just makes me smile, and probably more than I should.

It's cute that we both have bulldogs as mascots and the public eats up the pics of them together.  That's nice, isn't it?  What are some other things that you find cute and adorable?

It is nice. We would love to have Jack come over to Indy someday too. Blue III is a star around here, and I'm sure everyone would love seeing Jack as well. I'm not big on the whole cute and adorable thing, but really just about any younger version of its adult self in the animal kingdom is a good answer for that.

At THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON we are very particular about our foods - walk me through your ideal set-up for watching this Georgetown-Butler game and include all snacks and appropriate beverages.

I can't tell you how many tweets come up on my timeline with pictures of food from following you guys.  Honestly, I usually am so busy charting shots, tracking stats and yelling at the TV to eat during a game, but if I were to just be watching a game for fun, I'd go with some chips and salsa mixed with ranch dressing (weird, but delicious) from this restaurant called Hacienda.  I'd also make some puff pastry cheeseburgers and put together a veggie tray.  For beverages, I'd start with a heavier beer (Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing is ideal), and then switch to something a little lighter.  If the game starts going really bad I've got a liquor cabinet that would put Robert Downey Jr. down for the count and probably switch over to bourbon (on the rocks) and try to kill the bad memories the old-fashioned way.

(Casual Note: If you put a bowl of salsa mixed with ranch dressing in front of me I'd punch you in the face and then probably drink it.)

Final score prediction?

I don't think it'll be a "Bourbon bad" kind of game for Butler, but I do think Georgetown will be ready for the Bulldogs this time around, and I'll say it'll be 68-61 Hoyas.