No. 11 Butler played with fire one too many times.
The Bulldogs had won five of their last six games following an upset win over then-No. 1 Villanova, but three of those five wins were by five points or less. A fourth came in overtime at Georgetown. The fifth? At home against Marquette, whom Butler trailed by 16 points at halftime.
Butler was getting the wins, but they weren’t doing it in thrilling fashion, and on Saturday, that came back to bite them, as Georgetown got 22 points from L.J. Peak and 20 points a piece from Jesse Govan and Rodney Pryor in an 85-81 win over the Bulldogs. It’s the second straight win for the Hoyas over a ranked opponent; they beat No. 16 Creighton in Washington D.C. on Wednesday night.
The loss dropped Butler a game off the pace in the Big East, and when you consider that they still have to make their return trip to Philly later on this season, it’s hard to picture anyone other than Villanova taking home that Big East regular season title.
The résumé Butler has put together this season is going to look terrific on Selection Sunday. They’re beaten Arizona and Villanova, who both look like they will end up being top ten wins, which adding victories over Utah, Indiana, Cincinnati and Northwestern. The concern, however, is that Butler’s inconsistency, particularly on the defensive end of the floor, could end up costing them in the Big Dance.