Butler didn't have an answer for Saint Louis' 6-foot-5 forward Dwayne Evans, who led the Billikens to their first trip to the Atlantic 10 championship game in school history with a 67-56 win over the Bulldogs in Saturday's semifinal round. Evans is undersized in the post and his teammates explain his post-game savvy by saying he can't actually dunk.
Of course, Evans disputes that, but what's indisputable is the way he worked that Butler defense. His 24 points and 11 rebounds were both game highs and Evans was clearly the player of consequence in Brooklyn.
For Butler, the national runner-up in 2010 and '11, it's their third time this season losing to Saint Louis. This time, the Bulldogs were playing their third game in three days and just 23 hours after their previous tipoff against La Salle.
Saint Louis was able to turn 20 Butler turnovers into 26 points, a definite formula for losing if you're Butler. Not to mention they couldn't generate offense when they weren't turning the ball over, going at least seven straight possessions without a bucket.
It's also worth mentioning that the Billikens have been through a lot this season. Battle tested and we ain't talking just basketball. When their head coach Rick Majerus passed away in December, they were suddenly playing for more than just themselves and each other. Now Saint Louis is in the A-10 title game looking at VCU on Sunday.
Come to think of it, though...
St. Louis reminds me a helluva lot of the Butler team from 2010. Tough as nails defensively, some talented kids, execute, well-coached.— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) March 16, 2013