Introduced Version



    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION congratulating the Butler University Men's Basketball team on reaching the national championship game in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row.


     , read first time and referred to Committee on


First Regular Session 117th General Assembly (2011)


    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION congratulating the Butler University Men's Basketball team on reaching the national championship game in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row.

     Whereas, In the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the Butler Bulldogs came within inches of winning the national championship when Gordon Hayward's half-court shot just missed, resulting in a 61-59 victory for Duke;

    Whereas, Despite losing Gordon Hayward to the NBA, and Willie Veasley, Avery Jukes, and Nick Rodgers to graduation, expectations were high coming into the 2010-11 season, as Butler was ranked 18th in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches poll;

    Whereas, A challenging season reached its low point on February 3, 2011 when Butler lost to Youngstown State. The loss was the third in a row for the Bulldogs, dropping them to 6 and 5 in the Horizon League, and 14 and 9 overall;

    Whereas, At that point, Butler Head Coach Brad Stevens made a critical change, inserting Chase Stigall into the starting lineup. The move paid immediate dividends, as senior guard Zach Hahn explained, "Chase has been the biggest part of why we've been successful. Once he was

inserted into the starting lineup, we really started clicking. People understood their roles more";

    Whereas, Sparked by the change, and a renewed commitment to improve, particularly on defense, the Bulldogs went on a seven game winning streak, finishing the regular season tied for the Horizon League crown;

    Whereas, After dispatching Cleveland State in the conference semifinals, Butler went on the road to face Wisconsin Milwaukee, a team that had beaten Butler twice in the regular season, in the Horizon League Tournament Conference Championship Game. Butler used a stifling defense to defeat Wisconsin Milwaukee 59-44 to clinch the conference tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament;

    Whereas, Seeded eighth in the Southeast Regional, Butler faced ninth seed Old Dominion, the Colonial Athletic Conference Tournament Champion and the number one rebounding team in the nation. The game was close throughout, featuring 21 lead changes. Tied at 58-58, the game came down to the last play. Guard Shawn Vanzant drove the basket from the right side when he lost his footing and threw the ball toward the rim. Teammate Andrew Smith slapped the ball out of the air off the backboard, and Matt Howard went up with his right hand and put the ball in from the left side an instant before time expired, giving Butler a dramatic 60-58 win;

    Whereas, In the second round, Butler faced number one seed Pittsburgh, the regular season champions of the Big East, a conference that earned a record 11 bids to the NCAA tournament. The game was an instant classic, featuring one of the most bizarre endings in the history of the NCAA tournament. Butler came out firing in the first half, with guard Shelvin Mack leading the way with four three pointers, to give the Bulldogs a 38-30 halftime lead. Pittsburgh made a critical run in the second half, eventually taking a 53-48

lead. Butler responded resiliently with a run of their own to get back into the game;

    Whereas, As in the first round, the game came down to the final seconds. With 7.1 seconds left, Butler was down 69- 68. Brad Stevens drew up a masterful play, perfectly executed when Shawn Vanzant drove the line and passed the ball to a wide open Andrew Smith, who put in the lay up to give Butler a 70-69 lead with 2.2 seconds left;

    Whereas, The game's drama was further heightened when Shelvin Mack inexplicably fouled Pittsburgh's Gilbert Brown near half-court with 1.4 seconds left. After making the first free throw, Brown missed the second. Matt Howard grabbed a crucial rebound, and inexplicably was fouled by Pittsburgh forward Nasir Robinson. Howard promptly made the first free throw, then intentionally missed the second, forcing a desperation heave by Pittsburgh that missed, giving Butler the 71-70 victory. Mack finished with a game-high 30 points, and connecting on seven three pointers to lead his team;

    Whereas, In the Sweet 16, Butler used precision offense and defense to take a 47-27 lead over Wisconsin with 11:32 to go. Wisconsin made a late run, but free throw shooting plus a clutch mid-range jumper from Shelvin Mack sealed the 61-54 victory for the Bulldogs;

    Whereas, In the Elite 8, Butler matched up against the athletic, two seeded Florida Gators, who were the regular season champions of the SEC. Down 51-40 with 9:26 left, Butler again showed their incredible fight, making a run to tie the game at 57 with 3:03 to go. Butler then survived a last second attempt from Florida guard Erving Walker to force overtime. In overtime, the lead was back and forth until a clutch three pointer from Shelvin Mack put the Bulldogs ahead for good, resulting in a 74-71 victory;

    Whereas, The victory over the Gators gave Butler its

second consecutive appearance in the Final Four, an amazing accomplishment for any program, let alone one that comes from a mid-major conference. Butler is the smallest school (enrollment 4,200) to make the Final Four since seeding began in 1979;

    Whereas, In the national semifinal, Butler matched up with 11th seeded Virginia Commonwealth (VCU), marking the first time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 that two mid-majors made the Final Four;

    Whereas, Butler went into halftime up 34-28. VCU then reeled off seven straight points early in the second half to take a 35-34 lead. Butler regained control of the game with clutch scoring by Shelvin Mack and a crucial 90 second span where Zach Hahn scored all eight of his points. Butler used its suffocating defense down the stretch to defeat VCU 70-62. The most impressive stat to come out of the victory was that VCU, a fast-break team, finished the game with zero fast- break points;

    Whereas, In the national championship game, Butler matched up with the third seeded Connecticut Huskies (UCONN), led by the country's best player, Kemba Walker. Both teams came into the game on long winning streaks, Butler with 14 in a row, and UCONN with 10;

    Whereas, The national championship game was a defensive war, with both teams struggling to make baskets. A Shelvin Mack three pointer at the buzzer gave Butler a 22- 19 lead at the half. In the second half, Butler battled UCONN all the way to the end, before falling 53-41; and

    Whereas, Butler's historic back to back run to the national championship game is an incredible accomplishment, and credit goes to the entire Butler team, from players Alex Anglin, Garrett Butcher, Erik Fromm, Zach Hahn, Chrishawn Hopkins, Matt Howard, Emerson Kampen, Grant Leiendecker, Shelvin Mack, Khyle Marshall,

Ronald Nored, Andrew Smith, Chase Stigall, and Shawn Vanzant; and to the entire coaching staff, Head Coach Brad Stevens, and assistants Matthew Graves, Terry Johnson, and Micah Shrewsberry: Therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate     of the General Assembly

of the State of Indiana, the House of Representatives     concurring:

    SECTION 1. The Indiana General Assembly congratulates the Butler University Men's Basketball team on reaching the national championship game in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row.
    SECTION 2. The Secretary of the Senate is hereby directed to transmit a copy of this Resolution to Head Coach Brad Stevens, the Assistant Coaches, and each player on the Butler team.