Butler vs. Winthrop prediction and game preview, as the No. 4 Bulldogs Mascots and No. 13 Eagles face off in the NCAA Tournament.
Don’t look now, but those Bulldogs are back. Yes, we’re talking about Butler, who rode a 23-8 record all the way to a No. 4 seed in the South region.
Standing across from the Bulldogs is Winthrop. The No. 13-seeded Eagles ended their regular season with a 26-6 record.
Below is a complete game preview and prediction for Butler vs. Winthrop.
Butler vs. Winthrop Game Preview
Date: March 16, 2017
Venue: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wis.
Kalen Martin has played well since coach Chris Holtmann moved him to the bench, and he appears to be rejuvenated. Andrew Chrabascz is a solid big man and can make things difficult for opponents down low on the offensive end.
Rebounding has been a bit of an issue, as the Bulldogs finished with only a plus-0.8 differential per game during the regular season. Crashing the boards becomes far more important during the NCAA Tournament.
Butler Bulldogs In-Depth Analysis
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Pat Kelsey’s Eagles employ an offense that is centered around Keon Johnson and Xavier Cooks. The 5-foot-7 Johnson was the Big South player of the year, averaging 22.4 points per game and shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range. Cooks averaged 16.2 points and nine boards per night. The Eagles love to shoot from downtown, and they’re doing it at a 38 percent rate with two players–Johnson (40.0) and Anders Broman (45.9)–at 40 percent or better.
While the 3-point shooting can keep the Eagles in any game against a high-major opponent, it’s more than likely that they will face a team with bigger guards that have the length to contain the diminutive Johnson. There are other scoring options, but Johnson wasn’t the league’s player of the year for nothing.
Winthrop Eagles In-Depth Analysis
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Butler vs. Winthrop By The Numbers
Scoring Margin: 8.3 (47)
Rebounding Margin: 0.8 (160)
Turnover Margin: 3.3 (18)
3-Point FG Percentage: 36.8% (91)
Scoring Margin: 9.5 (35)
Rebounding Margin: 1.0 (151)
Turnover Margin: 0.9 (122)
3-Point FG Percentage: 37.3% (69)
Butler vs. Winthrop Prediction
Andrew Chrabascz will come up big for the Bulldogs inside and will make us all forget about the problems Butler has had on the glass up until this point. Plus, Kalen Martin will provide that spark off the bench that the Bulldogs will use to carry themselves to an easy victory over Winthrop.
Butler vs. Winthrop Score Prediction: Butler 82, Winthrop 68
MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions