Butler Bulldogs vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Eight-seed Butler will try and carry the momentum from Thursday’s last-second win in Thursday’s opening round into Saturday’s Southeast Region matchup against the top-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers.Â The Pittsburgh Panthers are 8-point favorites today over the Butler Bulldogs with the over/under total set at 128.
Butler did not come into this years NCAA Tournament with the same credentials of last years team that finished two points shy of winning a national title, but it served notice in a win over Old Dominion that it has every intention of trying to make deep run this time around as well. The Bulldogs needed a tip-in by senior forward Matt Howard at the buzzer to come away with a 60-58 win as a one-point underdog in a game that featured 21 lead changes. Howards game-winning shot was part of a 15-point scoring effort that also included five rebounds. He led Butler this season with 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. Junior guard Shelvin Mack also scored 15 points and dished out a game-high five assists in the winning effort. He is the teams second leading scorer with 15.2 points a game and is averaging a team-high 3.6 assists a game. Butler is shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three-point range. Butler is 3-1 against the spread in its last four games
Pittsburgh won the Big East regular season title but made an early exit from the conference tournament with a 76-74 loss to Connecticut in the quarterfinals as a 5-point favorite. The hangover from that loss carried itself into the Panthers game against North Carolina-Asheville on Thursday as they only led by five points at the half. Pittsburgh then found another gear in the second half, cruising to a 74-51 win as an 18-point favorite. Junior guard Ashton Gibbs led the charge by scoring 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second half to help put the game away. Gibbs has been the go-to guy all year long for Pitt, averaging a team-high 16.7 points a game. Pittsburgh is averaging 74 points a game this season.
Both these teams are averaging well over 70 points a game but the over/under for the game is at 128.Â This seems to me to be an easy play on the er.Â The er will be my only pick in this game as I will sit back and root hard for made baskets.