These past two days couldn't have gone any better for Butler. Winning on the road in the Big East is tough, but the Bulldogs picked up a huge road win to hand Seton Hall their first home loss this season. That win alone will help boost a team's resume, but Butler has gotten some help around the country to go with it. TeamRankings.com uses current results and future predictions to simulate the rest of the season and determine outcome odds. Here's what their predicted final Big East standings were on Tuesday morning:
At 9.3% chance to win the conference, Butler was more of a hopeful contender than a serious threat to take the regular season Big East crown away from Villanova. But Villanova collapsed late against Marquette on Wednesday and Creighton fell to last place (at the time) Georgetown. Now the Big East picture looks like this:
It's a two team race, and while Villanova is still a heavy favorite, the Big East title is realistically in play for the Bulldogs. But that's not all. It wasn't only the top Big East teams that lost. Four more top 10 ranked teams across the country fell over the past two days (Kansas, Kentucky, Florida St, UCLA). Butler isn't just trying to claim their first Big East title, they are trying for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Tuesday morning Butler's projected seeding looked like this:
And now here were are 48 hours later:
Butler now has a 24.2% chance of being a top seed in the NCAA tournament, and the odds of them being a 1 or a 2 seed are better than any alternative. There's only a 7% Butler isn't released as a top 4 seed on selection Sunday.
Of course this is college basketball, and it isn't played on paper. There is no reward for being predicted to finish the season strong. If Butler were to drop the next one at home against Georgetown all of these numbers would take a significant dive. This year more than ever the odds seem to mean very little. But if you are a fan of Butler basketball, you have to be thrilled with how this season is shaping up for the program.