First, congratulations to the Bulldogs. They fight hard and they deserve it.
But I can't help but wonder, what is the difference between them and us that allow them to go to two Final Four while that remains a distant dream with us?
In terms of recruits, we should be getting the more "talented" or "higher-rated" high school star.
In terms of coaching, Painter has 3 B10 COYs and should not be worse than Stevens.
In terms of facilities, ours should be better and I don't think that'll be a big difference anyway.
In terms of adversity, while we lose Hummel to injury, they also lost Gordan Hayward to the NBA.
In terms of chip-on-a-shoulder, I think we both have it. We have our doubters all year long, while Butler is still considered an underdog despite 9-1 in the last 10 NCAA tournament games.
In terms of style, I think both are blue-collar with emphasis on playing hard.
So how do they do it? What are they doing that is different from us? What can we learn from their magical runs, for the last two years?
BTW, do we have to worry about losing in-state recruits to Butler? It just seems we are stuck in between where the highest-rated recruits go to IU, and now maybe the hardest-working recruits will go to Butler b/c of the proven chances for national exposure.
In marketing, you need a "brand image." IU gets the five banners and Indiana tradition to sell; ND gets the Catholic prestige and Big East hype (play in the best conference); ours is "defense and hard work" and we used to be getting the leftover who are willing to play hard but now it looks like Butler might be able to steal those as well.
I am not panicking, but I do want to see what we can learn from the Bulldogs. In February, we were destroying OSU and MSU, while Butler was losing to YSU (Youngstown State). How can they turn it around? How can they keep winning NCAA Tournament games that we never seem able to despite they have at least equal if not more adversity, and we should have equal if not even more talent and resources?