Seton Hall Pirates at Butler Bulldogs – NCAAM February 24

Seton Hall (13-9, 7-6) at Butler (7-13, 6-11)

  • Time: 4 PST – 6 CST – 7 EST
  • Place: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

Opening Tip:

Seton Hall had it’s five-game winning streak ended on Saturday with an 81-75 loss at Georgetown. The Pirates’ four-game sprint at least got them back into at least bubble conversations. Seton Hall has had a roller coaster season and the Pirates are facing a must-win against the struggling Bulldogs.

Butler has lost three in a row and six out of eight as the Bulldogs have struggled to score the ball throughout the season and have been beaten by an average of 14.3 points per game in their three-game losing streak. The Butler injury list has been scattered with a litany of Bulldogs for almost the entire season.

Seton Hall defeated Butler, 68-60, on Jan. 2, as Sandro Mamukelashvili scored 24 points and Jared Rhodes had 19 points and seven rebounds. Myles Tate led the Bulldogs with 22.

Vs. The Spread:

Seton Hall:

  • The Pirates are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The Hall is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games vs. Butler
  • SHU is 4-1 ATS in it’s last 5 road games

Butler:

  • The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Butler’s last 15 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 4 of the last 6 games between the Bulldogs and Pirates
  • Butler is 10-5 SU in it’s last 15 home games.

Last Time Out:

The Pirates’ defense left them once again as they fell, 81-75, at Georgetown on Saturday. The Hoyas shot 50 percent from the floor and netted 10-of-16 three-pointers. Sandro Mamukelashvili led the Pirates with 22 points and Shavar Reynolds added 13.

Butler lost it’s third in a row at Xavier, 63-51, as the Bulldogs scored a season-low 20 points in the first half. Chuck Harris had 14 points, eight boards and six assists for the Bulldogs.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Seton Hall -7 (-110) -300 O 129½ (-110)
Butler +7 (-110) +250 U 129½ (-110)

Advantage, Seton Hall:

Seton Hall Pirates LogoThe Pirates’ offense has been solid all season as they are 23rd in adjusted offensive efficiency, per kenpom.com, which is in part thanks to a solid post game that Sandro Mamukelashvili brings to the team. Sandro (18.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.2 apg) is all over the stat line as he is second in scoring, seventh in rebounding, and 13th in assists in the Big East. Jared Rhoden has had a solid presence as well as he is second on the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg). The Pirates are 4-0 when he leads them in scoring. Mamukelashvili could be in for another efficient game as the Bulldogs don’t have a rim protector as they only 41 blocked shots in 20 games.

Key Pirates Stat:

Over the last five games, the Pirates have rediscovered themselves defensively as opponents have averaged 60 points per game and shot only 39.6 percent from the field. It is important to note that the Pirates are 18-0 in their last 18 Big East games when holding opponents under 70 points.

X-Factor:

This is an older Pirates team as it is 2.37 years on average which is 21st in the NCAA. Coach Kevin Willard is looking for that experience to come into play in March. Sophomore guard Tyrese Samuel is the only player in the rotation that is not a junior or senior and his contribution is large as he shoots 54.6 percent from the floor ina averaging 18.1 minutes per game.

Advantage, Butler:

Butler Bulldogs LogoThe Bulldogs need starters Aaron Thompson, Bo Hodges, and Bryce Nze to be able to make this a battle at home. All three of those players are questionable as they did not play in the loss to Xavier on Saturday. Seton Hall takes care of the ball well with senior guards in Shavar Reynolds and Myles Cale as the primary ballhandlers. The Bulldogs have been able to manufacture points when they can force turnovers as they have averaged 14.6 points off of turnovers in their last five games.

Key Bulldogs Stat:

The Bulldogs have had 34 percent of their points come fro freshmen this season as freshman Chuck Harris has led the team with 11.4 points per game thanks to making 37 threes and shooting 40.6 percent from behind the arc. Graduate student Jair Bolden, who came over from South Carolina, has helped to stabilize the team as much as possible along with point guard Aaron Thompson. Bolden is sixth in the Big East with 2.6 made threes per game. The Bulldogs’ offensive problems have been well chronicled as they are last in the Big East in points 62.8 points per game (325th/NCAA) as well aster 40.5 percent field goal percentage (282nd/NCAA).

X-Factor:

Offensive possession length hurts the Bulldogs as it sits at 19.3 seconds (334th/NCAA) and when the Bulldogs get stagnant, the possession time works in their opponents favor. They have double digits in fast break points only once, so it stands to wonder why playing more up-tempo hasn’t been an option based on the team’s struggles.

WINNER: Seton Hall (-7) 67, Butler 58

The Bets
Seton Hall
-110
Seton Hall Moneyline
-300
UNDER 129½
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.