One of the things that captured the most attention during Butler’s run to the NCAA Tournament final last year was their mascot, Blue II, who is a staple at Butler home games (and some road games). The Bulldogs all pat their mascot as they’re being introduced, but the NCAA ruled that no live mascots would be allowed in arenas during the regional games. However, Butler is still overcoming the March Madness lines that are against him, and if they get far enough, Blue II may still make another appearance at the Big Dance.
The Bulldogs haven’t made things easy on themselves, as they needed a last-second putback by Matt Howard to take down Old Dominion, then they disposed of the first No.1 seed in the Tournament, Pittsburgh, in one of the craziest endings you’ll ever wish to see in a game, capped off by a converted free-throw attempt by Howard. The Bulldogs now move onto the Sweet Sixteen, where they were go up against Wisconsin in what should be another close game, but this is a battle-tested team who has been through a lot over the last two seasons, especially in the postseason. They’re not going to back down from anyone, and if they made it to Championship Monday as a fifth seed last year, they can definitely get back to the Final Four as an eighth seed.
If they return to the Final Four, the NCAA has said they would consider allowing Blue II to be a part of the festivities once again. The argument is that there isn’t a quick enough turnaround time in the regional games, and there wasn’t enough space with all the teams in the Tournament. But with four teams left, it wouldn’t be a problem, so the Bulldogs have some added motivation in their back pockets.