The last time we saw the Butler Bulldogs play the Florida Gators, the Dawgs weren’t a member of the Big East Conference. In fact, this was two conferences ago, as they were members of the Horizon League. Butler played Florida in a thrilling Elite Eight matchup, a game in which the Bulldogs won thanks to a Shelvin Mack 3-pointer in overtime that helped to send them to their second consecutive Final Four.
Seven years later, Butler and Florida are set to meet again. The Bulldogs and Gators have agreed upon a two-year home-and-home series. Butler will head to Gainesville this coming season, and then the Gators will travel up north to Hinkle Fieldhouse in the 2019-20 campaign.
How did this come about, you ask? It all started with a tweet. No, really. Butler head coach LaVall Jordan sought Gators head coach Mike White out on Twitter on Monday morning.
Hey @MikeWhiteUF, congrats on a great season. Dawgs are looking for a home-and-home. Gators interested?— LaVall Jordan (@LaVall_Jordan) March 26, 2018
White was very prompt in responding to the request.
Coach, I like it! Let’s get the Bulldogs down to Gainesville this season & the Gators can visit Hinkle in 2019-20. https://t.co/Q966KBi2Xi— Michael White (@MikeWhiteUF) March 26, 2018
Jordan, unsurprisingly, was delighted to hear the news.
Sounds good. Fire up the fax machine. I’ll have my guys draft it up and send it your way for signatures. https://t.co/icGD2n06Z7— LaVall Jordan (@LaVall_Jordan) March 26, 2018
And then, both programs made formal announcements.
Is requesting home-and-home series on Twitter the new move? Time will tell. Nevertheless, this is exciting in a number of ways, as these two programs are perennially great. And now, we’re guaranteed to see them play each other in the next two years. The Big East’s nonconference cache gets another big matchup, as we will also see Villanova play Kansas next year at Allen Fieldhouse (a few months after they play in the Final Four this Saturday) AND Gonzaga play Creighton at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.