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Final Four Betting Free Picks For Saturday: The Butler Did It… – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 3rd, 2010 by David Glisan

Final Four Betting Free Picks For Saturday:  The Butler Did It…
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In Saturday’s early game, Butler will play Michigan State and we’ve got your Final Four betting selection on that game right here.  Butler didn’t exactly come out of nowhere and fly into the NCAA tournament ‘under the radar’–they are a 5th seed after all–but no one expected them to play as well as they have.  Everyone knew that they were about as fundamentally sound of a basketball team as you’ll find anywhere, that they play nasty team defense, and don’t make mistakes on offense.  It was easy to explain away their opening round victory over UTEP–a talented but dumb team–and Murray State–a team very much like Butler, only not as good.  When they shut down the Nation’s #1 percentage offense in beating Syracuse, that’s when people started to take them seriously.

Michigan State, despite their pedigree as one of the elite college hoop schools, may be a less probable Final Four team than Butler.  They were supposed to be done when they lost starting point guard Kalin Lucas in their second round game against Maryland, but credit to the team for playing well without arguably their best player on the court and even more credit to Spartans’ coach Tom Izzo for keeping them in a competitive mindset.

FINAL FOUR–BUTLER VS. MICHIGAN STATE:

Obviously the ‘money people’ behind the NCAA tournament–that would be the NCAA and CBS primarily–want a Duke vs. Butler final.  My hunch is they’ll get it one way or another and that’s unfortunately very easy to engineer when a physical team like Michigan State is involved.  They’ve relied even more on their toughness and physicality without Lucas in the lineup, but the problem is that makes it easy for the officials to call the game ‘tight’ if need be.  Not that Butler needs much help–they stood up to another very physical team in Kansas State to get here.  KSU arguably has more talent than this Spartans’ team, and is especially strong at the guard position.  Butler doesn’t blow good teams off the floor, but they also don’t get blown out either.  They hang around, play good defense, don’t give up easy baskets and put themselves in a position to win at the end.  That’s what I see them doing here–the Bulldogs are very good playing in the halfcourt, and the slower the tempo the happier they are.  Without their best pointguard on the floor it’ll be hard for Michigan State to dictate tempo, and thus very hard for them to win.

PLAY BUTLER -1 OVER MICHIGAN STATE

 
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