Texas vs. Butler Point Spread – NCAA Tournament Second Round

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Texas vs. Butler Point Spread – NCAA Tournament Second Round

Carrie Stroup here with your Texas vs. Butler point spread for the NCAA Tournament Second Round. 


NCAA Tournament – Second Round

Sportsbook.ag Line: Texas -2, Total: 124

Texas looks to erase what was a disastrous regular season with a victory over Butler in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.

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Texas is coming off of a 69-67 loss as a 2-point underdog against Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament. The Longhorns won three games in a row SU before that defeat and they likely would not have made the NCAA tournament if they didn’t do just that. They are now 3-1-1 ATS in their past five games and have held their opponents to less than 60 points in three of the past five.

Butler lost 67-61 against Xavier in the Big East tournament. The Bulldogs were 1-point favorites in that game and have now lost both SU and ATS in two of their past three contests. The Longhorns have gone Under the total in six straight games and the Bulldogs have gone Under in seven straight games.

This game will be the first ever meeting between these teams. Butler is 11-3 ATS this season when the total is between 120 and 129.5 points. The team is also 33-15 ATS when playing as a neutral court underdog since 1997. Both of these teams are heading into the NCAA tournament healthy.

Texas was wildly disappointing this season and now looks to make up for that with a run in the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns struggled offensively this season, averaging just 67.9 PPG (164th in NCAA) on 43.6% shooting (169th in NCAA). This team is excellent defensively though, allowing just 60.4 PPG (39th in NCAA) thanks to 7.9 BPG (1st in NCAA). The Longhorns are also excellent on the glass, pulling down 39.7 RPG (8th in NCAA).

G Isaiah Taylor (13.0 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.3 RPG) is the most important player for this Texas team. Taylor is one of the better point guards in the nation and will need to be at his best against Baylor. Over the past three games, he’s averaging 11.7 PPG and 6.0 APG. He’ll need to continue finding his teammates for easy baskets, but he’ll also need to limit his turnovers.

F Myles Turner (10.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.7 BPG) has been one of this team’s best players all season. Turner is a 6-foot-11 big man with excellent shot-blocking ability and he also can score in a number of ways offensively. He has been struggling recently though, failing to score in double-digits in each of the past four contests. He must turn things around or the Longhorns will be heading home early.

F Jonathan Holmes (10.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.0 BPG) had a big game against Iowa State last game, finishing with 15 points, nine boards, three blocks and two assists in 30 minutes of action. Holmes is a solid shooter (33% 3PT) and can also score around the rim. He has good size and will need to be a presence on Thursday.

C Cameron Ridley (8.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.7 BPG) has been defending the rim very well lately. He’s averaging 3.0 BPG over the past three contests and will be relied on even more heavily if Turner is unable to produce on Thursday.

G Demarcus Holland (7.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG< 2.5 APG) could be an x-factor in this game. He is an excellent outside shooter (47% 3PT), but is struggling with his shot lately. Holland is just 2-for-6 from behind the arc over the past three games and he’ll need to be hitting in order to play big minutes.

Much like Texas, Butler wins games on the defensive end. The Bulldogs are allowing just 61.2 PPG (47th in NCAA) this season and they will look to contain a Texas team that underperformed offensively all season. Butler averages 69.6 PPG (112th in NCAA) on 43.9% shooting (259th in NCAA), which is good enough to keep the team in a ton of games. The Bulldogs are also good on the glass, pulling down 36.7 RPG (60th in NCAA) and that should help them against this big Longhorns frontcourt. If Butler is going to advance in this tournament then G Kellen Dunham (16.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG) is going to need to catch fire.

Dunham is one of the best shooters in the nation (42% 3PT) and knows how to get his height off. He moves very well off the ball and will need to find holes in this talented Texas defense.

F Roosevelt Jones (12.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.7 APG) is the heart and soul of the Bulldogs. Jones is a forward trapped in a guard’s body, but he has a non-stop motor. He’ll do his best to give Butler the edge in rebounding in this game and he is also a good offensive player. Jones knows how to attack the rim and he can also find his teammates when nothing is there for him.

F Kameron Woods (7.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.2 SPG) is going to be crucial for Butler in this game. Woods has been a monster on the glass recently, averaging 14.0 RPG over the past three games. Woods must avoid foul trouble in this game, as he is the best rebounder that the Bulldogs have and the team can’t win if he is not on the floor.

G Alex Barlow (9.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 2.2 SPG) is a very good two-way player in this team’s backcourt. Barlow can shoot the three-ball (39% 3PT) and really caught fire against Xavier, finishing with 22 points in 34 minutes. If he can get hot against Texas then his team could be advancing.

F Andrew Chrabascz (11.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.6 APG) could be an x-factor for the Bulldogs. He had 16 points against Xavier and simply knows how to score. He’ll be needed if one of Butler’s premier players has an off game.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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