Big East Preview: Seton Hall at Butler

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#18 Seton Hall Pirates @ #5 Butler Bulldogs:

The top-2 teams in the conference square off at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the top Big East game of the night. The home Bulldogs have been one of the most consistent and impressive teams in the country, dropping their only game of the year to Baylor on the road – a result that continues to look better and better after the Bears took down Kansas on the road last weekend. Buoyed by stellar defense and balanced scoring, Butler plays very physical basketball and will provide a challenge for the visiting Pirates. Led by Kamar Baldwin, this team has multiple ways to hit at Seton Hall and find a chink in the defensive armor.

Seton Hall, expected to finish in the top-3 of the Big East, has flourished in the first half of the season. Single-possession losses to national contenders Michigan State and Oregon small blemishes on an otherwise strong resume, but show the definite elite potential of this squad. Despite losing starting Center Sandro Mamukelashvili, and Myles Powell for a stretch of games, the Pirates have shown growth and a more potent scoring and defensive attack.

The keys in this game are all offensive:
– Can Quincy McKnight continue his strong play and score 15+?
– Can Jordan Tucker or Sean McDermott provide a big spark for Butler?

Who will step up for each team?

Both teams will undoubtedly plan to get the ball out of Myles Powell and Kamar Baldwin’s hands. Romaro Gil has emerged as a huge talent and defensive anchor around the rim for the Pirates. However, Butler’s defensive prowess this season and ability to limit second-chance scoring will be the difference in this one. First to 60 wins this one.

Butler 61, Seton Hall 60

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