The Butler Bulldogs and Wisconsin Badgers are set to battle on Thursday night to see who will have a chance to play over the weekend for a chance at the Final Four. These teams are almost mirror images of each other. They both get in your face and defend, they have an inside out presence, shoot the ball well from 3 point land and the foul line and don’t turn the ball over. All signs are pointing to a game that will go down to the wire, but will it?
Wisconsin’s top two players, Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, average 18.7 and 18.0 ppg respectively. Jordan Taylor is one of the most dynamic guards in the country. He shoots 85% from the foul line, 43% from the 3 point line and has a 4:1 assist to turnover ratio. Leuer is your typical Midwestern big man. He has solid post moves but doesn’t wow you with his athleticism.
Butler enters the game after their two dramatic games the first weekend. Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack are playing at a very high level. Ronal Nored has been a great defender through the first two games and will be asked to shut down Jordan Taylor. Right now Butler appears to be on the same role they were last season at the same time where everything seemed to break their way. Now as the sweet 16 is on the Horizon they are set to face yet another team that plays a similar style to them.
Down the stretch this season every time Wisconsin put two solid offensive performances together, the game following them has not been very pretty. Some they have still managed to win; others they have not. That doesn’t seem to be a good sign as they are set to play a team that currently has a great defensive rhythm.
For Butler they need to try to go inside early and get Andrew Smith and Matt Howard going in the post. This will make things easier for their guards to get off shots from the outside. Defensively they have to stop Jordan Taylor, not only from scoring but from having the ball in his hands. They need to force the offense to start with someone else.
Keys to the Game
The two keys for the game will be getting Andrew Smith to put up more than 10 points and to limit Wisconsin to less than 12 free throws made.
Butler 63 Wisconsin 54
About the Author
Written by Patrick Greissing
Life long resident of Washington, DC. A huge Washington Capitals and Miami Dolphins fan. Also have a strong passion for college basketball. Have coached at the high school and national AAU level. Always interested in talking sports. Follow me on twitter: @pgreissing