No Hoosiers

If you like Butler in the Final Four, you're not a serious sports fan

If you like Butler in the Final Four, you're not a serious sports fan

If you're fascinated by Butler playing in the Final Four, you're a borderline sports fan at best. If you're on the edge of your seat for this first national semifinal between the Bulldogs and Michigan State because you think that "the little guy" has a chance, you watch more Survivor than basketball.

Butler is more compelling, the less you know about sports. Like figure skating? Prefer your sports in feel-good movies rather than actual arenas? You're going to love Brad Stevens' team (not that you'd know who Brad Stevens is).

I knew this illogical underdog mania had truly reached the level of the absurd when Houston's No, 1 fashion guru (CultureMap Editor-in-Chief Clifford Pugh) turned to me on Friday afternoon and started talking Butler basketball (sorry boss). If you were at the Shell Houston Open this weekend paying more attention to the ice cream than the golf, you're pulling for Butler.

This is only a team that's only truly loved by those who don't love sports.

Because if you know sports, you understand that Butler getting to the Final Four is anything but the stuff Cinderella is made of. These Bulldogs are as much of a fraud as underdogs as Mindy McCready claims Roger Clemens is in the bedroom.

Sorry, but just because CBS shows a bunch of Gene Hackman clips, doesn't make Butler a team out of Hoosiers (the real-life Hickory High, which wasn't even called Hickory in real life, wasn't as big an underdog in reality as you think either for that matter. Milan High made the state semifinals the year before it won the title).

Indianapolis in 2010 is a long way from a 1950s movie set. Butler didn’t overcome as much as it purposely planned — with a ruthless athletic ambition that any self-respecting big time college athletic program could appreciate. 

If you understand what the Bulldogs really are — a 32-4 program that’s been to the big dance nine of the last 14 years — the buzz around them rings false. Butler was ranked in the Top 10 at the start of the season. A miracle? You want a miracle? The University of Houston making a Final Four in the next 20 years would be a miracle. Butler doing it, is just a good team largely living up to expectations.

Las Vegas made the Bulldogs the favorite in this Michigan State matchup. They were a number five seed, same as Michigan State. Sure, it's funny that their coach (that's Stevens) looks like he's about 12 years old. But it doesn't make them compelling to real sports fans.

Truth is, they're just sort of a boring team that wins on defense. Nothing to coo over here.

News_Shelvin Mack_Butler_basketball_player
Butler's Shelvin Mack