IBJNews

Final Four finally gives Butler reason to party

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The school that never celebrates midnight madness to kick off the basketball season finally held a late-night campus party.

Sunday morning's March Madness bash was even better.

About eight hours after Butler beat second-seeded Kansas State 63-56 to reach the first Final Four in school history, the Bulldogs returned home to a large crowd and loud cheers.

"We've never had midnight madness here," coach Brad Stevens said with a smile. "So I guess this is it for us."

As the team arrived shortly before 3 a.m., two hours later than anticipated, fans who stood patiently in chilly temperatures and sporadic rain showers began chanting "Are you a Bulldog?" and swarmed the team buses.

Players were astounded by the welcome.

"It's sort of nuts," junior center Matt Howard said. "You know when we came back from the Sweet 16, there were about 20 people here. Look at it now."

Sophomore point guard Ronald Nored agreed that celebration was "awesome."

"There is nothing like coming home and being able to play the Final Four in front of the people who have been watching you all year," he said. "Everyone was texting me, telling me there were a ton of people here. But I didn't believe it."

Butler's also is enjoying other benefits from its impressive run. As IBJ.com reported Friday, the most immediate is an explosion in sales of merchandise, and experts say Butler likely will experience a jump in student applications, alumni contributions and season ticket sales as well.

Clothing sales have soared 500 percent this week, and traffic at the Butler bookstore is up tenfold, said Richard Goodpaster, regional manager for Oak Brook, Ill.-based Follet Higher Education Group, which operates the store.

On Sunday morning, meanwhile, the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot looked like a modern-day scene from the movie "Hoosiers."

Car horns started blaring at about 12:30 a.m., camera phones lit up the night sky and the sound of drums kept fans entertained as they waited for hours for the team to arrive.

What started out as a crowd of college students soon included fans ranging in age from toddlers to grandparents, turning a quiet Indianapolis residential neighborhood into a giant pep rally.

One fan who joined the party was 52-year-old Brian Clouse, a Butler alum and Indy resident who watched the final 66 seconds during a layover at the Dallas Fort-Worth airport. He's not normally a late-night guy, but the Bulldogs' success turned him into one Sunday morning.

"For Butler wins, like this I do stay up," he said. "I remember when we had 200 or 300 people after we beat Purdue. Now we've graduated to this."

Those who showed up Sunday morning hoped this was only the prelude to something much bigger.

The Bulldogs will face Michigan State or Tennessee in a national semifinal Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. That's only five miles from campus, making the Bulldogs the first team to play a Final Four in their hometown since UCLA in 1972.

As the upsets and Top 25 rankings have piled up over the last decade, celebrations have been reserved for the biggest accomplishments. Students didn't even rush the floor when Butler won the Horizon League tourney title, wrapping up a perfect 20-0 season against conference foes. And few talk about the school's new record winning streak, which hit 24 games Saturday and earned the team its first Final Four berth.

Those who know the Bulldogs best believe the team won't get caught up in the hype.

"All I can say is that this team and my grandson did one heck of a job," said Gordon Hayward, the grandfather of the Bulldogs star forward with the same name. "It's hard to realize what they've done. But they've got more work to do, more work to do."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Congrats Bulldog
    What a wonderful thing this is for the students, alumni, players, and Butler community as a whole not to mention the Indianapolis area. Being an IU alum I fondly remember the 2002 final four run and can relate to the excitement Butler fans are having now. GO DAWGS!!!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT