March madness betting top seed the Villanova Wildcats host the Butler Bulldogs tonight at The Pavilion. Also the No. 2 ranked team in the AP Poll, Champagne Villanova is a March madness odds darling.
Butler +10 (-110) 144 (-110) +425
Villanova -10 (-110) 144 (-110) -550
Nova won their seventh game in a row on Saturday, a 92-70 win over Seton Hall and thus clinched at least a share of a fourth consecutive Big East regular season title. Jalen Brunson had 22 points – 18 in the first half – and a career-best 10 assists, Kris Jenkins added 22 points, Josh Hart had 19, and Mikal Bridges 15. The Wildcats shot a season-best 67% from the field and used a 22-1 run across the halves to assert their dominance. Nova led by as many as 27 points and pretty much sealed the victory early in the second half. Villanova lost Conference Tournament championship game to Seton Hall last season and the Wildcats apparently neither forgot nor forgave. However, “there’s no revenge about (the game against Butler). It’s not about revenge for a loss or anything like that. We’re just playing and it’s another step in our journey,” Hart said. The Bulldogs are one of only two teams that have defeated Nova this season (the other being Marquette). This will be one of three regular season games left for the Wildcats and a win could earn them the top seed in the Big East tournament. These two teams currently sit in the top two spots in the Big East.
The Bulldogs seeded 13th in the march madness betting preview, so in good theory their march madness odds should be better than those of, say, UCLA or Duke. Butler has won two straight, including an 82-66 win over DePaul on Sunday. Nate Fowler had 15 points, Tyler Lewis finished with 10 points and eight assists, and Kelan Martin added 14 points and eight rebounds. All three delivered off the bench. The Bulldogs didn’t allow one point in the last 4:52 of the first half or the first 2:48 of the second and didn’t allow a basket for almost nine minutes. Butler scored 21 straight points to turn a 27-22 deficit into a 43-27 lead early in the second. The Bulldogs secured the W with a 13-0 run. As mentioned above, Butler got the best of Nova 66-58 on January 4th at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Kethan Savage and Andrew Chrabascz had 13 points each. The loss was the first for the Wildcats this season and their first in 20 games dating all the way back to the previous season. In spite of that and what was said above about Butler’s March madness odds, that same might not be said of the Bulldogs’ chances tonight against March madness betting fave Villanova. On the other hand, the Bulldogs are the only team left with a chance to sweep the Wildcats – and if that were to happen, it would be an example of that old chestnut, “Butler did it.”