Pittsburgh, Penn. - The Bulldogs are the underdog once again, despite having the higher seeding. The 6th seeded Butler Bulldogs (22-10, 12-6) look to avoid an upset (seeding-wise) from the 11-seed Texas Longhorns (20-13, 8-10) in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament. InsidetheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect in Butler's return to the NCAA Tournament.
Time: 2:45PM EST
Venue: Pittsburgh, PA (CONSOL Energy Center)
Know Your Foe
Record - 20-13 (8-10)
Coach - Rick Barnes, 17th Season (604-313 Overall)
Mascot - Longhorns
Conference - Big 12
Enrollment - 38,000
Tale of the Tape
Texas earned an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament after finishing 20-13 overall including 8-10 in the Big 12. The Longhorns had won three straight before dropping their 2nd game in the Big 12 tournament to Iowa State 69-67 at the buzzer. Texas was led by senior Jonathon Holmes with 15 points, while sophomore Isaiah Taylor added 13 points and 5 assists. Taylor leads the Longhorns in scoring on the season at points (13.0) and assists (4.6) this season, while freshman Miles Turner adds 10.4 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds. Rick Barnes and 16th trip to the NCAA Tournament at Texas, while his only miss was last season. It is the 32nd appearance for Texas overall.
Butler looks to also get back on the winning track as the Bulldogs lost their Big East Tournament opener to Xavier 67-61 in overtime. Butler was led by senior guard Alex Barlow's 22 points, while junior Kellen Dunham added 17 points (6/14 FG). Dunham leads the Bulldogs in scoring on the season at 16.7 points per game while shooting 41.5% from 3-point range. Fellow junior Roosevelt Jones adds 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and a team-high 3.7 assists per game. First year head coach Chris Holtmann helped Butler return to the NCAA Tournament this season after missing the Big Dance last season. This will be the Bulldogs 13th appearance in the tournament.
Alex Barlow - Sr. - 5'11" 187 lbs - 9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.6 spg
Kellen Dunham - Jr. - 6'6" 185 lbs - 16.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 41.5% 3PT
Roosevelt Jones - Jr. - 6'4" 227 lbs - 12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.7 apg
Andrew Chrabascz - So. - 6'7" 205 lbs - 11.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 apg
Kameron Woods - Sr. - 6'9" 200 lbs - 7.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 0.9 bpg
Kenal Yancy - So. - 6'3" 200 lbs - 6.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.8 apg
Isaiah Taylor - So. - 6'1" 170 lbs - 13.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.6 apg
Jonathon Holmes - 6'8" 240 lbs - 10.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.1 apg
Connor Lammert - 6'9" 240 lbs - 5.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 apg
Cameron Ridley - 6'9" 285 lbs - 8.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Player to Watch
Kameron Woods - The senior center from Louisville, KY has been outstanding on the glass over his entire career. He is 2nd in the Big East in rebounding at 9.8 per game and currently ranks 3rd all-time at Butler in rebounding (932) and needs just 30 more rebounds to finish as the all-time leader at Butler. His offensive game has rounded into shape late in the season, as he has hit mid-range jumpers consistently. Woods is going to have his hands full with the tall, lengthy front-line of the Longhorns. He will need a solid performance for Butler to advance.
Roosevelt Jones - Another key for Butler is Roosevelt Jones. The red-shirt junior needs to stay out of foul trouble with his physical style both offensively and defensively. His unique styles causes problems for teams defensively and he is a lockdown defender as well. Jones will most likely matchup with either Isaiah Taylor or Jonathan Holmes for the Longhorns. Both matches will be crucial for the Bulldogs as they look to shut down the playmaking ability of Taylor and limit the second change opportunities for Holmes and others.
Isaiah Taylor - The sophomore guard is the most electric playmaker for the Longhorns. He leads the team in both assists, 4.6, as well as points, 13.0, per game. Taylor will need to facilitate his teammates in order for Texas to move the ball against Butler's tight man-to-man defense. The young guard does make a few costly mistakes with the basketball as well. He leads the Longhorns in turnovers at 2.5 per game.
Keys to the Game
Getting Chrabascz on Track - Over the course of the season, sophomore Andrew Chrabascz has proved to be the Bulldogs most effective scorer in the post. Not only does he score in the post, but he also can stretch the defense out past the 3-point line and proves to be in Butler top 3 options offensively. Despite missing 4 games with an injury late in the season, Butler managed to go 3-1 during his absence and secure an at-large bid. Chrabascz was able to score 16 points (6/12 FG) in his 3rd game back from injury and needs to get on track early for Butler to have success against Texas.
Isaiah Taylor - Texas' offense runs through Taylor. The 6-foot-3 guard should touch the ball on every possession for the Longhorns and if he can get on track Texas will be in good shape. Butler will through either Alex Barlow or Roosevelt Jones at him defensively. Both will need to play solid defensively and not get in foul trouble or the Bulldogs could find themselves without a matchup for Taylor.
Inside The Numbers
11 - Butler's win total in the NCAA Tournament since 2010.
72.5 - Texas' free throw percentage this season.
1 - Number of steals that senior guard Alex Barlow needs to move into 3rd all-time on Butler steals list.
33.9 - Texas' 3-point field goal percentage, which ranks 199th in the country.
7.9 - Texas' average blocks per game, which is 1st in the country.
39.7 - Texas' average rebounds per game, which is 8th in the country.
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