St. Louis’ come-from-behind win at Butler will land them in Monday’s Top 25, and make the case for a high seed in the NCAA tournament as well as a potential $3 million-plus a year invite to the Catholic 7. Some felt that St. Louis would have to prove they could win after the death of legendary coach Rick Majerus to be considered for part of the TV deal. A road win over a No. 15 Butler team that has beaten No. 1 Indiana, No. 3 Gonzaga, No. 17 Marquette and then-No. 9 UNC was the ninth straight win and fourth over a ranked opponent for St. Louis.
Though not Catholic, Butler is near the top of the Catholic 7 wish list. Before the current hotstreak, St. Louis was in the Breitbart Middle 20 as a team that might not make the tournament. St. Louis defeated Butler by 17 earlier in the season, but going into Butler to win was even more impressive.
Kwamain Mitchell scored 10 in the second half to help the Billikens overcame a 34-29 halftime deficit. Mike McCall’s 18 points and Dwayne Evans 17, and Butler was actually the first team in the nine game winning streak to even come within single digits of St. Louis.
Saint Louis (21-5, 10-2) beat second place VCU 76-62 on Tuesday and holds a one-game lead over the Rams.
Butler (22-6, 9-4) missed a chance to pass VCU for second place and pull within a point of St. Louis. Brad Stevens teams, which have made two unexpected runs to the NCAA Championship game in the last three years, typically dominate teams this late in the season.