RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Butler says it has partnered with Be The Match, which operates the national bone marrow registry, in honor of late player Andrew Smith.
The school announced the partnership in a news release Friday. The goal is to raise awareness about the registry for potential donors for bone marrow to treat life-threatening blood diseases such as leukemia.
The 25-year-old Smith died in January after a battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014. He played in the 2010 and 2011 NCAA title games with Butler.
The release also said team bulldog mascot ''Butler Blue III'' would be a ''national ambassador'' for Be The Match.
Butler plays No. 1 seed Virginia in Saturday's second round of the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Region in Raleigh, North Carolina.