Butler's Big Dance: The Team, the Tournament, and Basketball Fever

Overview

The Butler Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA National Championship basketball game against Duke University upon defeating Michigan State on April 3, 2010. With only 4,500 students, Butler was the smallest school to play for a national championship since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Coached by Brad Stevens-just three years into his position as head basketball coach-the undefeated Bulldogs were a hometown team, playing before a hometown crowd on the national stage. Two days later, Butler lost narrowly ...

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Overview

The Butler Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA National Championship basketball game against Duke University upon defeating Michigan State on April 3, 2010. With only 4,500 students, Butler was the smallest school to play for a national championship since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Coached by Brad Stevens-just three years into his position as head basketball coach-the undefeated Bulldogs were a hometown team, playing before a hometown crowd on the national stage. Two days later, Butler lost narrowly to Duke, 61-59, but their run for the championship had become a national phenomenon. From her vantage point as a Butler processor, acclaimed writer Susan S. Neville observed (and participated in) Hoosier Hysteria firsthand. In Butler's Big Dance, she intertwines her recollections of the events with interviews, anecdotes, and photographs to bring readers a taste of the on-campus and courtside excitement of the Bulldogs' David-and-Goliath bid for the national title.

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Editorial Reviews

NUVO

"Neville is well-positioned to tell this tale, given she's a native Hoosier and a Butler prof—and one of Indiana's finest writers. There will be other books about the Dawgs' battle with Duke, filled with stats and jargon; this work is about how it felt to be here." —NUVO

Indianapolis Business Journal

"[A]n original book both gentle and bold... containing many passages worth perusing." —Indianapolis Business Journal

Bloom

"Neville gives us an excellent sense of what it's like, as she notes, to be living inside a national myth.... As a personal yet wide-ranging investigation of Hoosier Hysteria, Butler's Big Dance will resonate with almost any longtime Bloomingtonian who remembers the joyous surges of energy that have accompanied IU's spate of prolonged tournament runs in the past several decades." —Bloom

Indiana Magazine of History

"You probably feel you have read the Butler story told in every hue possible, but you haven't. You have primarily read sports writers... In this book, Susan S. Neville, a native Hoosier and a professor of creative writing at Butler, elevates the chronicle to new heights." —Indiana Magazine of History

Brad Stevens

"After reading [Butler's Big Dance], I feel like I experienced the campus excitement all firsthand. I greatly appreciate [Neville's] efforts to put that atmosphere into words." —Brad Stevens, Butler University Men's Basketball Coach

From the Publisher
"[A]n original book both gentle and bold... containing many passages worth perusing." —Indianapolis Business Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253223128
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2010
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,475,784
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan S. Neville is a native Hoosier and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Butler University. Her books include Iconography: A Writer’s Meditation (IUP, 2003) and Sailing the Inland Sea (IUP, 2007).

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword Bobby Fong xi

Preface: On Joy xiii

Acknowledgments xix

On Fire 1

The Summit 5

The Bookstore 6

T-Shirts 9

Why Basketball? 11

Beneath the Hoosier Sky 11

Toward a Theory of Indiana Basketball 14

On Being a Fan 19

How Surreal Was It? 25

Another Voice: An Alum 26

On Teaching 26

On History 31

Hinkle Fieldhouse 32

Lightness of Being 37

The Dance 39

The Dancers 44

Other Voices: Almost Religious 44

Student Athlete I 47

Basketball Stars 47

Physics 54

Other Voices: Rituals 54

Chant 56

Time Delay 56

Student Athlete II 58

Student Athlete III 59

Awe 61

Gordon Hayward's Decision: On Vocation 61

The Championship Game 66

Another Voice: Alum II 73

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline 73

A Blessing 76

Epilogue: Brad Stevens Basketball Camp 79

Afterword: What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Surreal? 83

Another Voice: Butler University President Bobby Fong's Speech to the Team after Their Loss in the Championship Game 87

The Scores, in Case You've Forgotten! 89

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