Predictions & Previews: Michigan State to defeat Butler. The Enlightened Spartan: Predictions & Previews: Michigan State to defeat Butler.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Predictions & Previews: Michigan State to defeat Butler.

#5 Michigan State (28-8) vs #5 Butler (32-4)
NCAA Final Four
Saturday, 6:07 pm
CBS Sports

Odds: Butler is a 1 point favorite.

Weather: OK, the game is indoors... but, outside in Indy it will be 70 degrees with a good chance for thunderstorms.

Best preview: With all due respect to the Free Press, the Detroit News outdid them in today's paper leading up to the game... including using the Sparty "S" for the "s" in News on their website, and better articles about the whole state pulling for MSU, and Wojo's excellent 64-60 prediction of an MSU win.

Predictions: LSJ/Rexrode (MSU 64-59), Chicago Tribune (MSU) Lions Den (Butler), Associated Content (MSU), New York Post (Butler 74-72), Gottlieb/ESPN (MSU), Dick Vitale/ESPN (MSU), Bet Firms (Butler), Midwest Sports Fans (MSU 63-61), (Butler), Cappers Picks (MSU 67-61), Bet US podcast (Butler), Bleacher Report/Kevin Berger (Butler by 6), Bleacher Report/Sam Kline (Butler 66-63), Raleigh News Observer (MSU), Freep (Albom: MSU 72-64, Rosenberg: MSU 68-62, Sharp: MSU 61-59, Snyder: MSU 65-60), DetNews/Wojo (MSU 64-60), NCAA preview

ES Prediction: Forward Gordon Hayward of Butler (18 ppg) has come alive in this tournament as one of the best players in the nation; guard Shelvin Mack is a steady ball handler and a top-notch defender at the point. Matt Howard is a foul-prone, yet solid center in the post. Unfortunately for Butler, after these three, the offense tails off rather considerably. Butler is a GREAT defensive team, as demonstrated by their shutting down Kansas State... but, that plays into Michigan State's preferred grinding style.

MSU is also a great defensive team, and they are the most physical team left in the field. MSU's bench is very deep, particularly with the bigs. Raymar Morgan and Draymond Green are having excellent tournaments, both extremely physical and shooting very well. But, it is their dominant rebounding that has MSU where they are today. Delvon Roe is having an awesome tournament defensively, despite playing 20+ minutes with bumb knees. Off the bench, Nix, Thornton, and Sherman have all given MSU quality minutes on defense. And, just wait until Butler gets a load of our rebounding... Korie Lucious and Durrell Summers are on fire offensively, and if they hit half as many shots today vs Butler it will likely be enough.

It is tough for the ES to see Butler hanging in as the game goes along, particularly with Izzo's style of throwing in waves of players at opponents to physically wear them down. Michigan State's athleticism and rebounding dominance will be too much to handle. This is honestly not the best matchup for Butler, and Tennessee was a more difficult opponent for MSU than the Bulldogs. The ES sees the Spartans pulling away in the second half and cruise to a 67-61 victory into the national title game.... and, yes, Morgan and Green will again be the game MVPs, as Butler doesn't have an answer for them.

ES sez: MSU 67, Butler 61.

NCAA Tournament Matchup Stats (over four games). Offensive stats favor MSU, Defensive stats favor Butler.
  • Off rebouding margin: MSU +2.75, Butler -2.0.
  • Turnover margin: MSU -2.75, Butler +4.5
  • Off FG%: MSU 45.6%, Butler 42.3%
  • FT%: MSU 74.5%, Butler 65.9%
  • Offensive Efficiency (pts/100 poss): MSU 112.2, Butler 101.5
  • Effective FG%: MSU 52.8%, Butler 50.4%
  • Turnover% (TO/possessions): MSU 19.5%, Butler 16.9%
  • Off Rebounding% (off rebounds/total rebounds): MSU 37%, Butler 26%
  • FT rate (FT made/FG attempts): MSU 42.5%, Butler 44.5%
  • Defensive Efficiency (opp pts/100 poss): MSU 106.9, Butler 89.6
  • Effective Def FG%: MSU 50%, Butler 48.3%
  • Def Turnover % (Opp TO/poss): MSU 15%, Butler 25.9%
  • Opposing Rebounding%: MSU 29.6%, Butler 31%
  • Opp FT rate: MSU 40.3%, Butler 24.5%
Game Stats:

MSU vs: NMSU, Md, NIU, Tenn
Butler vs: UTEP, Mur St, Syr , KSU

Butler Season Stats:

Gordon Hayward3533.
Shelvin Mack3631.
Matt Howard3625.711.
Willie Veasley3531.
Ronald Nored3629.
Zach Hahn3615.
Shawn Vanzant3614.
Avery Jukes3610.
Grant Leiendecker142.
Andrew Smith225.
Chase Stigall143.
Nick Rodgers111.
Garrett Butcher325.
Emerson Kampen81.
Alex Anglin121.
Team Averages36-69.432.612.612.21/17.02.318.1.449.739.3451.39

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