In a script that could only be a movie or a repeat from last season. The big boys from the Big East will face the mid-major Horizon team with the National Championship on the line. If there was ever to be a sequel to the movie “Hoosiers”, Butler’s run in the tournament these last two years would be it. Only thing missing was a 5’5 bench warmer named Ollie hitting a couple of granny style free throws to put Butler in the title game. Will Brad Stevens get thrown out while one of his assistants (drinking problem or not) calls for the “picket fence” play to win the game?
I suppose no one has taken the reigns of being Jimmy Chitwood better than Junior guard Shelvin Mack. The only think that would have made this movie perfect would have been seeing the Lexington native torching the Kentucky team who resides in his backyard and gave him zero recruiting looks to win it all. That is not as important though. The fairytale tournament that Butler is living out in this years tournament is good enough as is.
Last years run was special but this season is more so. Last year Butler was at least a #5 seed and while they shocked people by getting a far as they did it wasn’t as amazing as this season. Some people, including me felt Butler was a Final Four team last year. This season that number was cut down by around 80 percent I am sure.
Butler can match the 1985 Villanova team as the highest seed (#8) to win a national title if they can pull off the upset. Yes it would be an upset.
As someone who has spent way to much of his life watching movies and knows how Hollywood works. I am sure the powers to be would alter things, as Hollywood has done with all movies based on sports events but if Butler gets the win tomorrow night this story is perfect. It has everything a script writer could ask for. A team from a conference that is seen by the average fan as a nothing. Losing their leader and best player from last years team. Getting destroyed in their opener (by Louisville of course) and going into February as a team that seemed to have little chance at even returning to the tournament let alone the national championship game. Their tournament run has been something that would inspire a Norman Dale locker room speech.
Miracle shot at buzzer to win….check. Knock off the team that won the regular season title in the nations toughest conference….check. Beat a top-notch team from a couple of power conferences….check. End the run of an even greater Final Four team….check.
Now all that is left is beating the tournament champion of what people thought was the nations best conference. Winning your first school championship and first championship in the modern era (1975 to now in my eyes) from a non-power conference. Even the great stories of North Carolina State and Villanova were teams that came from the Big East and ACC. I mean hell they play their home games in the same gym that the original “Hoosiers” team shocked the world in. They are doing it in a huge stadium that now a days resembles how the kids from Hickory felt when they entered Butler Fieldhouse then.
I am aware that the plot of “Hoosiers” was exaggerated from the real truth. It really wasn’t their coaches first year with a troubled past. Hickory (really named Milan High School) shocked everyone doing it but had been that far the year before and had returned their core players. The facts do remain they won their title being a small school with a group of kids no one gave an early second thought about and did it beating the “big boys” of their basketball world. They knocked off an Oscar Robertson led team along the way. A lot like having to beat a Kemba Walker (most hyped individual player possibly in the nation) led team a long the way to getting a ring.
Huh, these story lines sound a lot like another teams story this year don’t they? Just one more game away from some possible movie magic. Maybe this time that halfcourt heave will go in?