April 29, 2014

Butler To Begin Basketball Series With Tennessee

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler men's basketball coach Brandon Miller announced that the Bulldogs will begin a home-and-home series with Tennessee in the upcoming 2014-15 season.  The two-game series will begin at Tennessee on Sunday, Dec. 14, with the Volunteers returning to Indianapolis in 2015.

Tennessee is coming off a 24-13 campaign and a fourth place finish in the Southeastern Conference.  The Volunteers advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship and ended the season ranked 23rd in the final USA Today Coaches Poll.

"Every year in our non-conference schedule, we're looking for quality opponents to help prepare us for the BIG EAST Conference and for post-season play," said Butler head coach Brandon Miller.  "One of our goals is to bring a high level of competition to Hinkle Fieldhouse for our students and our fans."

The Bulldogs will be making their first visit to Knoxville, Tenn.  Butler and Tennessee have faced each other just three times previously in three different locations.  The two teams played at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1958, and Butler prevailed, 81-66.  The second meeting came in the semifinals of the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden in New York, and the Bulldogs captured a 56-44 decision before winning the tournament championship.

The last meeting between Butler and Tennessee took place in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, and the Volunteers won that contest, 76-71 in overtime, in Birmingham, Ala.

Butler, heading into its second season in the BIG EAST, is looking to add to a remarkable success record over the past two decades.  Since 1996-97, the Bulldogs have recorded 15 twenty-win seasons and an overall 405-174 record.  Butler has made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances over that stretch, including back-to-back trips to the Division I national championship game in 2010 and 2011.