Butler and Gonzaga, two mid-majors who have developed reputations for scoring huge victories against very tough competition, will face one another in a home-and-home series the next two years, the Indianapolis Star reports.
Gonzaga will host Butler on December 20 of this year, then will travel to Butler in December 2012.
This will be a huge early-season game for both teams. Neither team shies away from tough non-conference matchups - Gonzaga took on Kansas State, Notre Dame and Baylor last year (the Kansas State game was in the CBE Classic), and Butler played Duke - but the only time they've played each other was in 2006, in the NIT Season Tipoff.
Butler has reached the Sweet Sixteen four times since 2003, and famously reached the NCAA Championship Game in both 2010 and 2011, losing both times (to Duke and Connecticut, respectively).
The favorite in 2011 probably has to be Gonzaga. The Zags will be playing at home. Butler is losing its two top players, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack, and Gonzaga will be led by seasoned frontcourt players in Robert Sacre and Elias Harris.
Gonzaga has played in 13 straight NCAA Tournaments.