Butler vs. Minnesota: What you need to know

Jahmyl Telfort is averaging 13.6 points per game for the Dawgs. Photo by Jada Gangazha

SARAH HOHMAN | SPORTS EDITOR | shohman@butler.edu 

Can Butler make a splash in the postseason? 

Although the Dawgs did not make the NCAA Tournament, Butler gets a chance at a postseason run in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). As a No. 4 seed in the tournament, the Bulldogs will host Minnesota on March 18 at 9 p.m.. 

In Butler’s first NIT appearance since 2019, here’s what you need to know. 

Who: Butler vs. Minnesota 

When: March 18, 9:00 p.m. 

Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse 

How to watch/listen: ESPNU, Varsity Network App / WXNT 1430AM


Some people push off the NIT like it is not significant for a team because it will never live up to the NCAA Tournament hype. While it might never be as popular as the Tournament, the NIT is a great opportunity for teams to grow and prove themselves. 

Butler is one of these teams. The Bulldogs were a serious contender in the midst of a tough Big East schedule. In early February, the Dawgs held wins over Creighton, Marquette and Providence. A five-game losing streak at an unfortunate time, and a weighing home loss to St. John’s on Feb. 28 crushed Butler’s March Madness hopes. 

The NIT is giving Thad Matta’s Bulldogs a chance to prove they compete with tough competition at a high level. The team only has two graduating departures after this season, so a decent run — or even a tournament win — could boost morale in a team that could very well be mostly the same next season. 

Scouting report 

Minnesota is 18-14 overall and 9-11 in the Big Ten conference. It’s the first time the Gophers will play in the NIT since 2014 when they won the tournament

The Gophers are coming off a 10-point loss to Michigan State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. Junior forward Dawson Garcia led Minnesota in that game with 19 points. The forward is averaging 17.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. 

Garcia is joined by junior guard Elijah Hawkins who is second in the nation in assists per game, averaging 7.6. This duo is important to watch, especially down in the paint, as the Gophers are shooting 47% from the field this season

The Big Ten is a proven tough conference this year and Butler needs to be ready to compete in order to move onto the next round. 

Anything can happen in March, even in the NIT. 


Related posts