The Butler Bulldogs and St. John’s Red Storm meet on Tuesday evening at Carnesecca Arena for a matchup in the Big East. The Big East is led by the Villanova Wildcats and Creighton Bluejays at the top of the standings. Don’t sleep on the Connecticut Huskies in the Big East with James Bouknight. If Bouknight can stay healthy, the Huskies have the potential to steal the conference away from Villanova and Creighton.
Without Bouknight recently, UConn were still winning basketball games. They beat Butler, 72-60, and then last night went to DePaul for a 60-53 win over the Blue Demons. Bouknight is responsible for the majority of points for the Huskies, so getting by without him on the floor was impressive.
Butler has been a disappointment, but that’s been the case more often than not in the last several years. They went to back-to-back National Championships in 2010 and 2011. 2010 was the more memorable game against the Duke Blue Devils. The game ended off a failed half court heave from Gordon Hayward. Duke escaped with a 61-59 win in that ballgame, as they barely survived a late try for the Bulldogs.
Hayward missed a mid-range jumper before nearly knocking down the half court Hail Mary. UConn made easy work of Butler the following year, 53-41, so there was no drama involved in that one. Their best accomplishment since then was a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2017, which resulted in a loss against UNC, 92-80.
Unless things change in a hurry for the Bulldogs, they will miss the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, excluding the cancelled season. Butler missed out in 2019 after losing in the second-round against Purdue in 2018. They haven’t been able to recover since that point. The Bulldogs go on the road to St. John’s with a record of 3-6 after a 72-60 loss against the Bouknight-less Huskies on Saturday.
The Red Storm are treading water and trying to stay relevant in the Big East following two losses. St. John’s is coming off a 69-61 loss against Xavier and 97-79 against Creighton. I don’t know if there were any surprises in either game, though. St. John’s owns a record of 6-6, but are back home on Tuesday where they’ve been much better. Head below for our free Butler vs. St. John’s pick on January 12, 2021.
Butler Bulldogs vs. St. John’s Red Storm NCAA Betting Odds:
Butler vs. St. John’s Prediction:
St. John’s has been an average basketball team this season at 6-6. They’re coming off a 17-15 campaign in 2019-20, so it has been more of the same for them. If they continue along this track, then St. John’s will likely accomplish around the same in 2021. All of their losses this season have been against some good teams, so Butler should be a favorable matchup for them.
They’ve suffered losses against BYU, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Creighton twice, and Xavier. I’m not going to give 3-8 Georgetown credit, but the rest of their losses have been against capable opponents. Overall on the season, St. John’s has scored 80.5 points per game for 39th in the NCAA. When you look at the Red Storm like that, you would think they’re a great basketball team.
However, allowing basically the same, with 80.8 points conceded per game, isn’t going to win many games. Where the Red Storm have been much better is at home. St. John’s has posted a record of 5-1 on their campus compared to 1-5 as a visitor. Their offensive numbers edge up a bit at home, with 83.2 points netted per game. They have been hot from the field at 47%. The defense still needs some work, but better with 77 points against per game.
Butler has struggled mightily offensively, so their horrid shooting from the field should be able to hide St. John’s deficiencies. The Bulldogs have averaged 63.7 points a game for 314th in the country. Even worse on the road with 60.3 points scored per game. The opposition had been able to connect on the other side of the floor on the Bulldogs as well. Teams at home have shot 51.3% from the field against Butler. I will side with St. John’s at home as a small favorite.