Commentary

Homeward bound?

Yeah, we know. The Butler did it. Here's how the Bulldogs do it again.

Updated: March 26, 2010, 1:13 AM ET
By Ted Bauer | ESPN Insider
Butler celebrationAP Photo/Colin E. BraleyOne more win can take Butler home to Indy.

The "Instant Intel" series is designed to immediately respond to a team's victory by looking ahead to its next opponent.

True story: Couple of college hoops afficionados -- which may or may not have included this writer -- were chatting Thursday afternoon about tonight's four games. Everyone had Syracuse beating Butler, generally by 12-15 points, although one added between bites: "Butler has a shot if Shelvin Mack goes off."

He didn't exactly -- he had 14 points (second on the team to Gordon Hayward's 17) and five assists, with all 14 coming in the first half -- but the Bulldogs, despite shooting worse from the field than the Orange and getting outrebounded, advanced to their first Elite Eight. The big, easy storyline? They stole the ball 13 times, as part of 18 total Cuse turnovers. They also rocked a nice 11-0 run late, which is always helpful.

So now here's the question: Can this tourney staple -- Butler has made nine of the past 14 dances -- finally reach the Final Four and head home to Indy by beating Kansas State on Saturday? Depends whether the Bulldogs can keep up with the fast-paced Wildcats.