Villanova loses for the first time after 20 games, the first time this season. It's been 298 days since last they tasted a sour defeat. Butler, the No.18 team in the nation played with amazing defense and used their home-court advantage to defeat top-ranked Wildcats by 66-58 on Wednesday night. Villanova's 20-game streak was longest in the nation, Gonzaga and Baylor are at 14-0 now hold the longest streak baton.
Not Kentucky nor Duke, nobody would challenge the Wildcats in Omaha and Indianapolis in consecutive situations. Butler is a top-20 team, it's tough to ask any group in America to go to both of these buildings and come out with two wins. Villanova is still a contender for the title. The loss won't concern them whatsoever.
The Butler's win has help the Big East's reputation. The Wildcats have won this conference from the past three years running, and that could happen again this time, but this year it would be a bit different with Butler, Creighton and Xavier should all compete for No.5 seeds at worst.
Butler recent senior transfer Kethan Savage scored 13 points off the bench, his career-best performance. Kamar Baldwin's Josh Hart, steal the player of the year candidate and subsequent layup with 56 seconds remaining gave Butler a 60-54 lead and a cushion that held to the end of the game.
The win is Butler's second in their history over a No.1 ranked team. Villanova entered as favorites, an undefeated team and also the reigning champions.
Butler is a Big East thing at this point in time. This transition from Horizon League member to Horizon League king to back-to-back Final Fours to going to the A-10 to joining the Big East could not navigate with half as much success as Butler did.
This latest win is the perfect example of how good a coach Chris Holtmann is, but in addition how stable and respectable a program Butler is to move forward.
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