Maryland - Butler Preview
Butler Bulldogs (5) Vs. Maryland Terrapins (4)
Saturday, 3/17 @ 3:20
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Maryland -5.5
In it’s first-round game against 12th seed Old Dominion, Butler found itself behind by one at the end of the first-half. Then mid-way through the second, guard Pete Campbell threw in three shots from downtown, inspiring the Bulldogs to go on a 17 to zip run. That was the game as Butler won 57- 46. At the end of the first-half of its initial contest, Maryland also found itself in a close one, leading 13th seed Davidson by one point 44- 43. Maryland had to contend with Davidson’s freshman guard Stephen Curry, who poured in 30 points in the losing 70- 82 effort.
For the Bulldogs, key contributions came from guard A.J. Graves, who led the team with 18 points and two steals and from guard Mike Green who grabbed 10 rebounds and accumulated three assists. Butler played disciplined ball, only giving the Wildcats a total of seven free-throws. The Bulldogs were given 16 frees and made 10, while Old Dominion hit six of their foul shots. Green, who averaged 14.1 PPG this season had 8 points.
In the Maryland- Davidson contest, Terrapin guard D.J. Strawberry had all that he could handle as he attempted to guard Curry. Strawberry, who had 12 points, five assists and 8 rebounds, was solid. The Maryland guard noted that Curry was tiring him out. Finally, Curry fouled out with 21 seconds to go. Curry missed five of his last six shots. Senior guard Mike Jones led the Terrapins with 17 points and senior forward Ekene Ibekwe grabbed 10 rebounds. Junior forward Bambale Osby was key, coming off the bench to pump in 11 points.
For Maryland, experience and coolness under fire were important in this first game and will be an important attribute in the next. Each of Maryland’s starting five put up double figures in point production. The Terrapins turned the ball over 22 times, which was too much. In it’s first game, Butler played a disciplined game but only had significant points from three of its players.
The strong Terrapin bench and well-balanced attack look like deciding factors, while the Bulldogs sure-handed ball control will help them.