The eleventh-seeded Texas Longhorns face the sixth-seeded Butler Bulldogs Thursday afternoon in their round of 64 game of the NCAA tournament that has the Longhorns as slight 1.5-point favorites. Click here to see more March Madness betting lines.
The Bulldogs received their seventh March Madness invite in the last nine seasons, are 5-1 both straight up and against the spread in their last six Big Dance openers. While the Longhorns have bumbled several close games this season which makes the 1.5 March Madness betting spread a killer for Texas. The Longhorns did close the season with a late three-game winning streak. Texas only went 8-10 in the Big 12, but it was a tough Big 12 that sent seven teams to this years NCAA tourney.
A Closer Look At The Texas vs Butler Betting Line, Analyzing My Free March Madness Pick & TV Info
Matchup: (11) Texas Longhorns vs (6) Butler Bulldogs
Date: Mar. 19, 2015
Start Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Stadium: CONSOL Energy Center
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Texas Vs Butler
Point Spread: Longhorns -1.5
Texas Will Cover the Spread If
The Longhorns rough up Butler’s big men inside.
Texas was a team whose bubble appeared to have burst after 4 straight losses to Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia and Kansas in late February. The Longhorns turned it around in early March, though. They beat Baylor in overtime, Kansas State and Texas Tech before losing by only 2 points to Iowa State, 67 to 69, in the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
The Longhorns should have no trouble covering the spread in Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament if they can use their terrific inside players to control the tempo of the matchup, score points, and grab rebounds. Jonathan Holmes, Cameron Ridley and Myles Turner off the bench make for one of the toughest front lines in all of basketball. When guards Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancey are feeding those three the rock, and Texas has success in the paint, the Longhorns are one of the toughest teams to beat in college hoops.
— Texas Basketball (@TexasMBB) March 18, 2015
- G Isaiah Taylor, 6-1, So., 13.0 ppg, 4.6 apg
- G Kendal Yancy, 6-3, So., 6.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg
- F Jonathan Holmes, 6-8 Sr., 10.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg
- F Connor Lammert, 6-9, Jr., 5.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg
- C Cameron Ridley, 6-9, Jr., 8.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg
- Coach: Rick Barnes (17th year)
Butler Will Cover the Spread If
Turns the game over to their guards.
Butler shouldn’t even try to outplay Texas in the paint. The Bulldogs have one of the top guards in the nation in Kellen Dunham. Dunham averages 16.7 points per game. He shoots 41.5% from three. He can also drive to the basket because he’s 6′ 6".
Forward Roosevelt Jones is one of the best passing forwards in college basketball. Butler should use Jones as a focal point and let him pass from the forward position to either Dunham or guard Alex Barlow for open two and three point shots. Jones also has the ability to drain the three. If Butler can get Texas to change its zone defense and go to man to man, Barlow, Dunham and Jones could all have huge games because Texas doesn’t have the players that can guard any of those three one on one. Butler has a great shot at covering the spread if they utilize Jones to open things up for Barlow and Dunham. If injured Alex Chrabascz is able to play, Butler really won’t have an issue opening things up for Barlow and Dunham.
Bulter Bulldogs March Madness Starting lineup
- G Alex Barlow, 5-11, Sr., 8.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
- G Kellen Dunham, 6-6, Jr., 16.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg
- F Roosevelt Jones, 6-4, Jr., 12.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg
- F Kameron Woods, 6-9, Sr., 7.9 ppg, 9.6 rpg
- C Andrew Chrabascz, 6-7, So., 10.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg
- Coach: Chris Holtmann (rookie)