COUGAR TRACKS

Butler Mascot Explains Why BYU/UCLA Will Be Playing In College Basketball Cathedral

Mar 19, 2021, 6:51 PM
BYU Basketball - Hinkle Fieldhouse - NCAA Tournament...
Hinkle Fieldhouse will play host to BYU/UCLA in the 2021 NCAA Tournament First Round. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – BYU and UCLA will close out the first round of an unprecedented 2021 NCAA Tournament in one of college basketball’s cathedrals, Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Home to the Butler Bulldogs from the Big East Conference, Hinkle Fieldhouse grew mainstream fame from its appearance in the movie “Hoosiers.” But to any hoops fan, Hinkle oozes of history, and it will be on full display for the Cougars and Bruins in The Big Dance.

Who better to explain the history of Hinkle Fieldhouse than Butler’s beloved mascot, Butler Blue IV. Well, his handler did all the talking. Butler Blue and his handler, Evan Krauss, joined me in an interview on Cougar Tracks to discuss what makes Hinkle Fieldhouse so special.

College Basketball Cathedral: Hinkle Fieldhouse

“[Hinkle] was built in 1928. We’ve had a handful of renovations. Obviously, in that time, most notably, in the summer of 2014, we underwent a $36 million renovation. But the key behind those renovations was upgrading to modern conveniences and amenities for our players and for our fans. But we left so much of the history the same,” Krauss said.

Krauss continued, “So we’re almost to our centennial here. In about seven more years of operation, it will be one of the oldest continual operating arenas. It’s known for just the uniqueness and arch design as well as being the home to the movie Hoosiers. So if you’ve seen the movie Hoosiers, that’s it. About almost exactly the same as when you see it there. So it is an electric atmosphere that is very fan-focused. There’s not a single bad seat in the house while still having those modern amenities for all the players and coaches.”

For fans attending BYU/UCLA, check out the history

According to Krauss, if you’re one of the lucky 1,250 fans who will be in attendance at Hinkle Fieldhouse, take your time and arrive early.

“History is literally on the walls at Hinkle. So I would arrive. You’re going to want to do that anyways with all your precautions and COVID protocols. But there is a walking tour right on the concourse that walks you through the very first game that was played at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Presidents that have stopped on the campaign tours at Hinkle Fieldhouse, history of Hinkle becoming army barracks during the World Wars. As well as exhibits on “Tony” Hinkle, the namesake and longtime Butler football, basketball, baseball, and athletic director. As well as a tribute to our 2010 and 2011 Final Four runner-up teams.”

Now let’s see if BYU and UCLA will create a historical matchup that would be worthy of ending up on the walls of the historical gym.

(11) UCLA vs. (6) BYU

2021 NCAA Tournament – First Round

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

TV: CBS

Radio: KSL NewsRadio

Tip: 7:20 p.m. (MT)

Follow Mitch Harper and his NCAA Tournament 2021 coverage from Indianapolis with BYU and Utah State by following KSL Sports on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and the KSL Sports app.

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