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Butler’s eyes on that Final Four prize -- again


Florida’s not buying this “Cinderella” stuff. Not with Butler.

That’s the smart move. The Bulldogs are hardly underdogs anymore. Not after beating yet another team and reaching the Elite Eight for the second straight year.

“Butler has proven that they’re as good as any program in the country,” Donovan said. “You don’t get to a national championship game or the amount of sweet 16s they’ve gotten to by just being a Cinderella story. That doesn’t happen year after year.”

That’s hardly news to Butler’s players, who said they expect to win in March, even if others don’t. They showed as much during last year’s run to the championship game and have done so in three games this season.

Maybe 2010 was about the ride. This year, they’re all about winning. (Even if the margins are razor-slim.)

“This is business,” guard Shelvin Mack told the Indianapolis Star.” You want to get back to that stage and try to enjoy it. I have my camera with me taking more photos and pictures because you never know if you’ll have this opportunity come twice in a lifetime.”

Hard to believe that two months ago Butler didn’t even seem bound for the tournament, let alone another Final Four run. On Feb. 3, the Bulldogs were 14-9 and had lost three straight, including to lowly Youngstown State. The Penguins finished tied for last in the Horizon League.

That’s a loss that provides motivation. Since then, Butler’s won 12 straight.

“We didn’t dive on the ball, we didn’t take charges, we didn’t do the things we needed to win,” Mack told ESPN on Friday.

And now, one win from another Final Four? That’s impressive, underdog or not.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.