The Bulldogs (-2, 147) take the Carnesecca Arena court in Queens, New York on Wednesday night to square off against the Red Storm. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Big East Basketball Free Pick: Butler -2 over St. John’s.
Butler’s last two contests, both wins, all but clinched an NCAA Tournament bid for the school. A win tonight in the Big Apple over league foe St. John’s would raise their potential seed. The Bulldogs win over Providence on Feb. 17 followed by a victory over then-No #24 Creighton by a 20-plus point margin was icing on their Big Dance cake.
To contain a explosive Blue Jays offense to just 70-points paints the picture of how good this Butler team can be. “Defensively, to hold Creighton to 70 points, that requires a great effort,” Bulldogs head coach LaVall Jordan told the media in his postgame presser. “We had really good energy and our communication was the best it’s been all season. Our guys really took the game plan and executed it.”
Senior forward Kelan Martin is the dominant offensive force for the ‘Dogs. Martin has averaged 26 points per game across the team’s last six contests. He leads the Big East in conference game scoring this season averaging 23.3 in league events.
The young Storm are guided by Shamorie Ponds. The shooting guard leads the Big East overall in scoring averaging nearly 22 ppg. The youth of this St. John’s squad has been inconsistent this season. In addition senior guard Bashir Ahmed has scuffled as of late with his shooting connecting on just 1-for-12 from 3-point range over the last five games.
Heading into March squads that have had extended rest have dominated over the last decade. After a long and grueling non-conference schedule and the physicality of sixteen Big East affairs Butler comes into this road event well rested. The Bulldogs last played eight days ago and a win tonight improves their conference mark to 10-7 on the season.
Big East Basketball Free Pick: Butler -2 over St. John’s
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