• Marquette travels to Butler

    By: Steve Luebke
    Special to BrewCityBall.com

    Marquette @ Butler 5:30 CST FS1

    Butler Bulldogs 12-9/3-5 9-2 in home games 40th in Sagarin rating
    Head Coach LaVall Jordan 2nd season (33-23)

    Efficiency Numbers (Kenpom)

    Offensive Efficiency 112 (37th)
    Defensive Efficiency 98 (79th)

    Offensive Efficiency 112.5 (31st)
    Defensive Efficiency 95.6 (51st)

    Butler leads the all-time series 22-17 and won both meetings last year. Butler has won 5 straight in the series, 7 of 8, and 11 of the last 14. Butler is MUís Big East Kryptonite.
    Butler has conference wins, St. Johns 80-71, @ DePaul 87-69, and Creighton 84-69, while losing at Seton Hall, at Xavier, at Creighton Depaul 75-74. The Pirates have lost at home to common opponent Louisville, 70-65.

    More Numbers...

    Marquette offense 79.2 points per game defense 75.1 ppg
    Butler offense 75.5 points per game defense 74.2 ppg

    *MU (40.6%) and BU (44.3%) are 1st & 9th in DEF FG%, respectively in conference games
    *MU (.326) and BU (.339) are first and fourth, respectively in 3 point FG defense.
    *MU Assist/TO ratio 1.00 Butler Assist/TO ratio 1.3

    The game features the best two free throw shooting teams in the Big East. MU is shooting 77.6% as a team from the charity stripe, while Butler shoots 73.6%. The big difference behind those numbers though is that Marquette has made more free throws (349) than Butler has attempted (311).

    Kamar Baldwin (#3), a 6-1 Jr., is Butlerís best player, leading the team in scoring (17.6), rebounding (5.4), assists (3.8), and minutes played (34.9).

    Neither team is efficient in creating turnovers. BU is 9th with 5.6 steals/game and MU is 10th with 5.5 steals/game. Butler values the basketball and is 2nd in BE with Turnover margin of +2.5, while Marquette is 9th with a margin of -1.5.

    The Big East has two teams with a conference winning record. Villanova at 7-0 and Marquette at 7-1. The rest of the league is below .500 in conference play with 3 teams currently at 3-4 and 5 teams at 3-5. Unless some of the sub .500 teams turn their season around, I think the Big East will only get 3 (for sure) or 4 (likely) teams into the NCAA. While a 5th team in the dance is in serious jeopardy.

    This will be a tough game for Marquette. Not because it is not the better team, but with MUís struggle vs. Butler, this game will likely come down to the last 5 minutes of the game. I am going with Marquetteís ability to shoot the 3, their ability to control the glass, and more scoring options as MU squeaks out a 72-68 road victory to end their losing streak to Butler. Donít think this one will be pretty.