Monday, April 5, 2010

What Butler Has to Do to Win

This guy must see a lot of CAA games. Or maybe it's Bruiser Flint!

For Butler to beat Duke, there are four things that have to occur. Three will be awfully familiar from my preview to the Michigan State game.

1) Keep the score ideally under 60, and control the ball. The Bulldogs were at their best Saturday forcing turnovers and dictating the pace. Butler made up for poor shooting with points off turnovers. They must do this successfully against the Blue Devils. If Duke scores 70 or more, the game is over. If the score is in the 50's, Butler will win. If the score is in the 60's, then it's anyone's game.

2) Rebounding - The Bulldogs must, must keep Duke in check on the offensive glass, and limit their second chance points. Butler did a terrific job vs. Michigan State in this regard. They need to do it one more time.

3) I know Butler won Saturday without Matt Howard on the floor. But the Bulldogs can't tempt fate twice. Howard must stay out of foul trouble. They will need Howard against Duke's tall front line. He needs to play 30 plus minutes.

4) Hit their three pointers - Butler is due for a really good shooting day from the outside. There is no time like the present. They need a good shooting day to stay with Duke.

Accomplish all four of these things and you have a mid major national champion. Accomplish three of the four and Butler is still in good shape. Less than that, it's trouble.

If Butler was going to ever play a near perfect game, there is no better night than tonight. Go Bulldogs!

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