Butler, the number nine seed in The Big East Tournament, will travel to the iconic Madison Sqaure Garden to face Seton Hall. Butler is coming off a game in which they routed Seton Hall by seventeen points. Zak Keefer, Butler’s beat writer for The Indianapolis Star, examined Butler’s next matchup against Seton Hall in a Q&A he completed with me.
-Butler has defeated Seton Hall twice this season, what will Butler have to do in order to win their upcoming game against Seton Hall in the first round of the Big East Tournament?
A: To put it simply, they need to do what they did the first two games. Butler won the two regular season meetings largely because of their defense. They played some of the better defense they have all season, to be honest, and I think I added up the numbers today, and Seton Hall missed 35 of their 45 three point attempts in those two games. If Butler can get some kind of defense like that, they're going to have a really good chance of advancing to the second round. Kevin Willard the Coach of Seton Hall said on Monday, are offense hasn't been good enough against Butler, and that's true, and obviously it doesn't help Seton Hall at all when Kellen Dunham goes off for 29 points, like he did on Saturday.
-Kellen Dunham had a fantastic game against Seton Hall in their last matchup, scoring 29 points. What do you think was the key to his success?
A: He is a terrific shooter and any time he gets open he has the green light to shoot, and defense has given him trouble in the Big East, but he was open against Seton Hall, and he made them pay.
-Butler has played inconsistently against Big East opponents this season, but have played well versus Seton Hall. What is the reason for that?
A: Well, they have shot the ball better and defended better, to put it simply, and Seton Hall does not have the offensive firepower compared to some of the other Big East teams, and when you add it all up together, Butler has played some really good basketball in those games.
-What is your prediction for the game between Seton Hall and Butler?
A: I am not really sure who's going to win the game. I think Seton Hall will play better than they did on Saturday. I think it will be a close one, and it will be who plays better down the stretch.