Time and Date: Wednesday, November 25 @ 6:00 pm ET
Records: Butler (0-0) | Western Michigan (0-0)
Rankings: Butler (#57 KenPom) | Western Michigan (#251 KenPom)
TV Channel: FS1
Watch Online: Fox Sports GO
Spread: Butler (-19)
The Butler Bulldogs will, presumably, kick off an unpredictable 2020-2021 campaign Wednesday, hosting the Western Michigan Broncos. Like every other college basketball game in the next few days, the big questions surrounding this one are, “Will it actually happen?” And, “Will any players test positive for COVID-19 before or after the game?” But let’s go ahead, cross our fingers, and preview this one as if nothing will go wrong.
The Bulldogs are recovering from a brutal offseason in which they lost not only four seniors (including All-BIG EAST first teamer Kamar Baldwin), but also two transfers, Khalif Battle and Jordan Tucker. They return a solid core of experienced players, so they won’t be completely lost – but it will be interesting to see how Coach LaVall Jordan manages the rotation Wednesday.
The Broncos had an equally devastating offseason, losing two stars to the transfer portal; Brandon Johnson and Michael Flowers, who both averaged over 15.0 ppg last season, departed for Minnesota and South Alabama, respectively. Western Michigan will also have a new head coach as Clayton Bates takes over for Steve Hawkins.
With both teams missing their top scoring threats from last year and playing their first game of the new season, it’s likely that neither team will look like a well-oiled machine out of the gate. Butler is expected to prevail handily, however, as the Bulldogs enjoy significant advantages in size and talent.
Here’s to the 2020-2021 Butler basketball season. May the team be safe and healthy and may they enjoy some semblance of a normal season. Go Dawgs.