Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Butler Bulldogs NCAA Tournament - 3/21/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Butler Bulldogs (23-10) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (30-5)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 9:40 pm (Consol Energy Center)
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -5 -- Over/Under: 134 See the Latest Odds
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish match up with the Butler Bulldogs in the Field of 32 on Saturday.
USA TODAY Sports
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish built a solid lead before a late Northeastern rally made things close in a 69-65 decision in round one of the NCAA tournament. The Irish led by four at the halfway point and extended the lead until the Huskies closed the gap as a 12 point underdog. The Huskies shot the ball well at 49% but hurt themselves with 16 turnovers and that was too much to overtake 57% shooting Notre Dame who eventually sank five more free throws to win. Zach Auguste carried the Irish attack with a contest high 25 points and five yanks on 10-14 from the floor while Jerrian Grant added 17 points and five assists on 7-12 shooting. Pat Connaughton and Demetrius Jackson netted nine points each with Jackson posting eight helpers.
The Butler Bulldogs have gone from a good mid major to a team that is in the National Championship conversation. The Bulldogs did nothing to hurt their reputation with a round one 56-48 victory against Texas. This game was nip and tuck until Butler gained some separation late. Defense and/or poor shooting ruled with the Longhorns holding a 34%-33% shooting edge. Texas sank a few more threes but the game was decided at the stripe were 22 Horns fouls resulted in a 20-8 advantage for the winners. Kellen Dunham was the Bulldogs lone double digit scorer with a game high 20 points with Kameron Woods adding nine points and nine rebounds. Andrew Chrabascz, Alex Barlow and Kelan Martin each scored seven points.
The Bulldogs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game and 7-0 ATS in their last 7 vs. Atlantic Coast. Butler are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 NCAA Tournament games and 13-5 ATS in their last 18 non-conference games. The Fighting Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. Notre Dame are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Both teams are battle tested and the Irish even more so but the Bulldogs seem find a way to hang around…