Time and Date: Sunday, February 28 @ 12:00 pm ET
Records: Butler (7-11, 6-10 BIG EAST) | Villanova (15-3, 10-2 BIG EAST)
Rankings: Butler (#122 KenPom) | Villanova (#8 KenPom)
TV Channel: CBS
ODDS AND ENDS (via OddsShark)
Spread: Villanova (-11.5)
Villanova travels to Indianapolis to face the Butler Bulldogs Saturday afternoon where they’ll look to replicate their December 16 blowout of the Dawgs. Nova is coming off an impressive two-game winning streak with wins over St. John’s and UConn. Jay Wright’s team is ranked #8 in both KenPom and NCAA NET rankings. The Wildcats are running away with the BIG EAST conference and have a few games left to tune up before postseason play.
Meanwhile, there is a little bit of new life in the Butler Bulldogs program after a surprising win over Seton Hall. It will be Senior Day for the Dawgs who are looking to defeat the conference’s number one team now that they have victories over #2 Creighton and #3 Seton Hall on their resume.
In the previous meeting, Butler hung around through the first half, but the Wildcats began to pull away in the second and Aaron Thompson’s knee injury put an end to any hopes of an upset. Ball security was the key to that game, with Villanova winning the turnover battle 15-6.
Both teams play a slow pace and thrive in the halfcourt; well, perhaps it’s only Villanova that thrives, but Butler is comfortable there too. Due to the anticipated pace, this one will likely be determined by turnovers and rebounding; the Wildcats won both categories last time en route to a blowout.
Nova is heavily favored in this one but the Bulldogs are coming off their best game of the year and will be hungry for an upset on Senior Day. Butler has had success against great Villanova teams in recent years, and the Wildcats will have to come focused to stave off LaVall Jordan’s squad.