Butler at Northwestern 11-18-09

November 18, 2009

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The Bulldogs are coming off a 73-62 win over Davidson on Saturday where Gordon Hayward led the way with 17 points. They were out played by Davidson for most of the game, but shooting 20-for-25 from the free-throw line gave them the win despite shooting 41.5% from the field compared to Davidson’s 47.1%. The Wildcats are also coming off a big win, 77-55 over Northern Illinois, where Jeremy Nash led the way with 20 points. Just like Butler, the Wildcats visited the free-throw line a lot in their game where they went 34-for-48. Look for the team that gets to the line more in this one come away with the victory. The last time these teams met, last season, the Bulldogs won by four points at home.

While Butler has designs on crashing the Final Four, Northwestern (1-0) has hopes of erasing the stigma of being the only school from a major conference never to reach the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats defeated Northern Illinois 77-55 on Friday, but the win came at a costly price with senior swingman Jeff Ryan suffering a torn ACL that ended his season.

Coach Bill Carmody had to absorb another crushing blow Monday when 2008-09 leading scorer and second-team all-Big Ten selection Kevin Coble opted for season-ending surgery to repair a fractured left foot. Coble, who suffered the injury in practice Nov. 10, averaged 15.5 points and 4.8 rebounds as a junior in helping the Wildcats reach the NIT.

With the injuries to Northwestern’s main guys, I think Butler should win this one and cover on the road.

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