Indianapolis (IN) - Butler features one of the most difficult non-conference schedules annually and this season is no different. This season it might be even more of a challenge with the amount of inexperience the Bulldogs have.
Butler opens the season traveling to Evansville to open their new arena, the Ford Center. The Bulldogs lost their game in Evansville last season to the Purple Aces, 71-68 in overtime.
The Bulldogs then face Chattanooga before hosting another team that they are looking to reverse their fortune against Louisville. The Bulldogs also opened the KFC YUM! Center for the Cardinals last season, losing 88-73.
After welcoming in the Cardinals, the Bulldogs will host Savannah State and Gardner-Webb before traveling to take on the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington as part of an in-season tournament.
Butler then hosts Oakland City and then rival Xavier returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler was beaten last season in Cincinnati 51-49 by Xavier. Butler has won two of the past three against Xavier.
The Bulldogs then have a difficult four game stretch to wrap up non-conference play. Butler makes the short trip to Muncie to take on Ball State, then doesn't leave Indianapolis, but will make the trip downtown to Conseco Fieldhouse and play Purdue as part of the Crossroads Classic.
Butler has won the past two games against Purdue.
Then the Bulldogs travel to the West coast to take on mid-major powerhouse Gonzaga and the Pac-12's Stanford Cardinal. Butler won their last game against Gonzaga at Madison Square Garden in 2006 during the Pre-Season NIT. They also won their last game against Stanford last season at Hinkle Fieldhouse 83-50.
Butler will also take part in the ESPN Bracketbusters event again this season. Last season the Bulldogs opted out of the event due to a rematch with Duke in New Jersey.
The Horizon League slate is as daunting as ever. Despite being picked as the favorite in the Horizon League this season, Butler will be challenged by the likes of Detroit, Milwaukee, and Valparasio for the regular season crown.
One particularly difficult stretch of the conference schedule includes a four game road-trip to visit the Illinois and Wisconsin schools.
Butler finished last season tied for first in the Horizon League at 13-5.