The 1999-2000 Butler Bulldogs were the foundation for later tournament success and Final Four runs. Going 23-8 and winning the MCC regular season and tournament championships, Butler entered the NCAA Tournament as a #12 seed where they lost a heartbreaker on Mike Miller’s buzzer-beater, propelling Florida to a Final Four run.
However, that loss represented a change for Butler from a team that entered the tournament as kind of a victim-in-waiting to one serious about advancing. A year later under first-year coach Thad Matta, the Bulldogs destroyed Wake Forest in a first-round game, 79-63. They reached the Sweet 16 in 2003 and 2007 before their Final Four breakthrough in 2010 and follow-up in 2011.