Butler and Seton Hall have played two close games decided by a total of 13 points, and if we, the fans, are lucky, we’ll get to see these two teams play again in the Big East tournament. The Pirates are on fire right now, carrying eight victories in its past 10 games after Wednesday’s 85-78 loss to Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Bulldogs fell into a hole for the NCAA Tournament with a 3-6 start to conference play, but now Chris Holtmann’s team can challenge as the hottest team in the Big East with six wins in its past eight games, including a sweep of the Pirates.
“You know you see it on video when you’re watching them. They’re tough, they’re resilient. They’ve got a great way about them,” Holtmann said of Seton Hall, via Fox Sports, after the game. “This is a great win for our guys, especially to respond to some adversity there in the second half.”
Butler actually led by 13 at the half behind a big first half from Kellen Dunham (team-high 22 points), but Isaiah Whitehead, the reigning CBS Sports Player of the Week, led a furious charge in the second half that cut the lead. Suddenly, the nightmares of a blown double-digit lead to Georgetown were recurring and the Bulldogs needed a clutch play.
That’s where Roosevelt Jones, as always, stepped up with a key bucket.
Roosevelt Jones doing Roosevelt Jones things for @ButlerMBB down the stretch on @FS1. #BIGEASThoops https://t.co/vReI0uugES
— BIG EAST MBB (@BIGEASTMBB) March 3, 2016
Whitehead set a new career high with 27 points in the game, including this deep 3-pointer to answer Jones’ big bucket.
Isaiah Whitehead from WAY DOWNTOWN! HUGE 3 keeping @SetonHallMBB alive. #BIGEAST https://t.co/v8dmYJly82
— FS1 (@FS1) March 3, 2016
Butler improved to 10-9 in conference play, giving the Bulldogs a shot to finish as high as No. 5 in the Big East or as low as the No. 10 seed in the league tournament depending how the rest of the week plays out. There’s a chance we’ll see these two teams face off again in the 3-6 or 4-5 matchup in the Big East tournament, depending on Butler’s finale against Marquette on Saturday.