Coming into the week firmly on the bubble in most bracket projections across the internet, the Butler Bulldogs could have helped themselves out and created a little breathing room with a home win over the Providence Friars.
Unfortunately for Butler, their road to the NCAA Tournament has hit a bit of a rough stretch, as the Bulldogs suffered a 73-67 overtime loss to the Friars, dropping the Bulldogs to 15-13 on the season and 6-9 in conference play.
While the game ultimately went to overtime, Butler didn’t look very good throughout, going nearly ten minutes between field goals in the first half. The Bulldogs chipped away at Providence’s lead and made it a five-point game going into the half. Kamar Baldwin had 13 of Butler’s 27 points in the half, as he did a lot of heavy lifting. Providence, meanwhile, had a more balanced scoring effort.
The second half was more competitive on both ends, as Butler was within three or fewer for most of the half, and Baldwin, who finished with a game-high 27 points hit a big game-tying three to send the game to overtime.
Nate Watson kept Providence afloat throughout, though. He led the Friars with 21 points. Just two point were in overtime, but Watson’s 8-10 performance in 33 minutes was exactly what Providence needed.
The big story of overtime was Isaiah Jackson. The guard had back to back threes to take a one point Butler lead to a five point Providence lead, which was insurmountable for Butler.