Butler Hands Villanova Its First Loss, Shows Wildcat’s Weakness

By Jeff Harris, Posted: 01/05/17 10:09PM EST
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The Bulldogs became the first team to solve the Wildcats this season, as #18 Butler defeated #1 seed Villanova, 66-58. The upset halted the Wildcat's 20-game winning streak ,dating back to last March during March Madness in the NCAA Tourney, which Villanova won.

"As an opposing team, it's something that I hate," Villanova's senior guard point Josh Hart said after loss as posted at NCAA. "But if I was in a Butler uniform right now ... I'd be out there with them. I guess you could say it's a compliment."

Sixth Man Award goes to the Crowd

For Butler head coach Chris Holtmann, the noise from the hometown crowd really gave them that added boost, "The loudest I've ever heard Hinkle," Holtmann said. He added, "We felt like it was going to be a quote, unquote ugly game at times. It always is because they make it that way. They're so hard to score on. We felt like if we could make it ugly on the defensive end, we'd give ourselves a chance."

Although, Villanova head coach Jay Wright doesn't seem to agree, he knows what hurt them the most, "It's a game of inches, a game of little things... They just did more than us tonight." How about the crowd's show of support cheering the home team and booing the visiting team?

"There are tough venues, but the venues are only tough because the teams are good," Wright explained. "If the teams aren't good, it doesn't matter how loud the crowds are. It was really interesting just to see if we could put together two great road efforts against outstanding teams. We just didn't have enough tonight." Well said, coach!

Villanova's Weakness Revealed - Small Rotation

One thing that was certainly noticeable during Villanova's loss - bench scoring. With junior guard Phil Booth out with knee injury, Villanova's rotation was down to seven players. And with a consistent sixth man like Booth out, Butler outscored Villanova's bench, 25-6.

As posted by USA Today, Butler mostly employed its three-guard offense featuring Kethan Savage, Kamar Baldwin and Avery Woodson. This trio made life harder for Wright, "They all share the ball. They made the extra pass. And that broke down our defense a little bit."



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