Butler opened Big East play on New Year’s Eve with a 60-58 victory at St. John’s. So the Bulldogs are now 13-1 after being picked eighth in the league’s official preseason poll.
Prediction: Butler won’t finish eighth.
In fact, the Bulldogs now seem more likely to finish first in the Big East than eighth based on what they’ve accomplished so far and what the computers suggest. No, they still don’t have a signature win over a currently ranked team. But they have beaten seven top-85 KenPom teams and recorded four Quadrant 1 victories with the lone loss on the resume coming at Baylor by a single point. If you’re wondering, Kansas is the only other team that also entered 2020 with at least four Quadrant 1 victories. So Butler is assembling a strong body of work that should serve it well on Selection Sunday.
Butler is No. 12 in Wednesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Bulldogs’ next game is Saturday against Creighton, which is No. 24. Gonzaga is No. 1 for the third consecutive day. The Zags could hold the top spot for a while considering they will not play another top 100 KenPom team until BYU visits The Kennel on Jan. 18.