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NCAA Tournament 2015: Notre Dame defeats Butler to advance to the Sweet 16

The Bulldogs' fabulous run this season ends after a loss to their in-state rivals

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A dreadful day for the Big East concluded with a thrilling loss for the Butler Bulldogs over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 67-64 in overtime. The game will be long remembered for Roosevelt Jones' great performance on one leg, Pat Connaughton's huge block to end regulation, and a great rekindling of a dormant rivalry.

Here are three things we learned.

Roosevelt Jones is not human

After hyperextending his knee against Texas in Butler's victory Thursday, there were doubts Jones would even be able to play tonight. Those doubts were quickly squashed by Jones, himself, when he tweeted the following Thursday night:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Thanks everybody for your concerns... I&#39;ll be fine and NOTHING is keeping me from playing Saturday <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDawgs?src=hash">#GoDawgs</a></p>&mdash; Roosevelt Jones (@rozayyjones21) <a href="https://twitter.com/rozayyjones21/status/578671817906327553">March 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Even with Jones' decision to suit up, there was no way he was going to be at 100%... or so we thought. Jones delivered a performance for the ages. 23 points, five rebounds, three assists. On the surface, those numbers might not look impressive, however, Jones WAS the Bulldogs' offense in the first half. He scored 15 of the team's 29 points.

After missing all of last season with a wrist injury, and Butler subsequently being mundane, then being limited in the Texas game with an injury, Jones wasn't about to miss out on playing on a big stage.

Notre Dame was the better team

It can be tough to admit, but it was true tonight. The points for the Irish didn't come from where everyone expected, as Jerian Grant had 16, Steve Vasturia had 20, but where the Irish really won this game was on the boards. It's very rare to see Butler get out-rebounded, but Notre Dame did just that. They beat Butler at their own game, out-rebounding the Bulldogs 40-36. The Irish also seemed to always be able to grab one of the nine offensive rebounds at an ideal time.

These two teams should play every year

At the very least, every other year. The perfect situation is already in place in the Crossroads Classic, but Butler and ND aren't allowed to face off due to Purdue and Indiana both being in the Big Ten, and conference games not being allowed before the official start of conference play. That's ridiculous. If you're going to have a tournament in a hotbed, like Indianapolis, featuring the state's four major teams, you need to ascertain every team can face off. To make matters worse, Notre Dame's Mike Brey has no interest in a home-and-home, as you'll see below.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said no plans to play home-and-home against <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Butler?src=hash">#Butler</a>.</p>&mdash; Michael Pointer (@michaelpointer) <a href="https://twitter.com/michaelpointer/status/578981513531944960">March 20, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Plain and simple, tonight showed us what a Butler vs. Notre Dame game could be. Would anyone complain if that was on the schedule every December?