Butler Wisconsin Betting – Thursday, 9:57 PM ET
The No.8 Bulldogs have won their first two Tournament games by a combined three points, and their 71-70 win over top-seeded Pittsburgh may be the craziest ending that you’ll ever see. Shelvin Mack scored 30 points, but he would have been remembered for fouling Pitt’s Gilbert Brown with 1.4 seconds left at halfcourt. Brown missed the last free throw, and Matt Howard was then fouled by Pitt’s Gilbert Brown with 0.8 seconds and a tied score. Howard hit the first one, then missed the second on purpose to end a wild game and put the Bulldogs in the Sweet Sixteen. The Bulldogs were outrebounded 31-21 and allowed Pitt to shoot 56.5% from the field, but all that matters is that Butler is moving on your March Madness bracket.
The No.4 Badgers had their own close escape as Jordan Taylor blocked Jacob Pullen’s shot in the dying seconds of a 70-65 victory over the Wildcats, and even though Pullen lit up Taylor for 38 points, Taylor got the last laugh. Jon Leuer had 19 points and seven rebounds, while Taylor had 12 points on a 2-of-16 shooting night, but the Badgers won this game thanks to nine three-pointers on 20 attempts, and they had just five turnovers. Wisconsin isn’t a flashy team, but they’re as solid fundamentally as anyone in the country, and Taylor made a massive play when he needed to.
We’re willing to bet 5dimes that you’re not going to see an up-and-down game full of running and gunning, as the posted total of 124 is, by far, the lowest of any Sweet Sixteen matchup. The Badgers are 5-point favorites in New Orleans, and they’ll be out to avenge a 58-44 loss in Madison to the Bulldogs in 2001. This is going to be a slow game, and execution in the halfcourt is going to be what decides this game. The Badgers are led by their one-two punch of Leuer and Taylor, but the Bulldogs have their own duo in Mack and Howard, and the latter duo knows all about the pressure of the Sweet Sixteen. The Badgers were here last in 2008, when their current senior class like Leuer and Keaton Nankivil were freshmen who didn’t play much. Mack and Howard played big roles in last year’s run to Championship Monday, and we think that will help them deal with the pressure. 2011 March Madness Picks Lay a sports bet on Butler on Thursday. Also be sure to check out the latest UFC Odds for this week's matchups.
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