Butler played one of their best games of the season at the right time. They upset current #1 seed Villanova in a stunner. The Bulldogs also went on to lose to a few bad teams, so which team will show up the first round?
Winthrop has had success in the NCAA tournament before as an #11 seed when they defeated Notre Dame in 2007.
Can Winthrop upset Butler in Milwaukee?
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The Butler Bulldogs had a season of ups and downs. They beat Villanova, then lost to Georgetown two weeks later. They play a slow plodding style and aren’t a very good rebounding team. Their goal is to get the ball to forward Kelan Martin who has nice range. Butler also takes a lot of threes, which can cause them to run hot and cold.
The Winthrop Eagles loves to push the tempo. They often score in the 80’s and 90’s, especially when they faced Big South conference opponents. They have the kind of offense that can cause problems for Butler, who likes to slow things down. If Keon Johnson or Xavier Cooks get hot and push the tempo, Butler could find themselves down. The Bulldogs aren’t a very good ‘come from behind’ team. Winthrop is just a hard team to handicap cause they didn’t play many good teams. They did have an overtime win at Illinois, but were smoked by both Florida State and Dayton.
I don’t think Butler is long for this tournament, but I think they escape the first round.
Prediction: #4 Butler Bulldogs
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.