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Back on home soil, Butler hosts Kansas State in rare meeting

Fresh off tournaments in the Caribbean, Butler and Kansas State will square off Wednesday evening in Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle.

It will mark the first matchup between the teams since the 2010 West Regional Final that sent Butler to the Final Four for the first time in program history.

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The two teams were scheduled to meet in 2020, but that contest was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Butler program.

Butler finished 1-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas last week. The Bulldogs lost to North Carolina State 76-61 in the fifth-place game. NC State closed the first half on a 15-2 run, and Butler never caught up.

The Bulldogs (4-3) are 67-2 over their past 69 non-conference home games. They are led by Jayden Taylor, who is averaging 16.4 points per game. He has scored in double figures in all seven of the team’s games.

“I thought Jayden got some right shots for us, and I thought he ended the transition game well. We all did pretty well tonight,” Butler coach Thad Matta said after a win over Brigham Young in the middle game in the Bahamas. “He didn’t force many things. He kind of let it come to him, and we worked on that with him.

“We’re a team where every night I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I’m happy when that happens.”

Kansas State (6-0) won its tournament in the Cayman Islands, using a late-game jump shot to defeat LSU 61-59 in the championship game.

Markquis Nowell was named the tournament MVP, and Wildcats coach Jerome Tang said he believes Nowell is the key to his team’s success.

“There’s always three players that can never have a bad day: the head coach, the point guard, and the best player on the team,” Tang said. “I think what I’ve seen from him from the moment I got here is he’s got a tremendous work ethic. He’s been tremendous.”

–Field Level Media

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