BracketBusters: Butler at Davidson
The Davidson Wildcats and Stephen Curry have been a disappointment this season, relatively speaking. Curry is leading the nation in scoring, which is quite impressive, but the Wildcats don't seem nearly as dangerous this year as they did in 2008.
Part of that could be that they no longer retain "sleeper" status. Or part of it could be that they no longer have the heavily underrated Jason Richards manning point for them. Or maybe they just have three losses to nationally-ranked teams. Either way though, they'll be playing the highly-ranked Butler Bulldogs on February 21 in the headlining game of ESPN's Bracket Busters.
Butler brings a more balanced attack than Davidson, with Matt Howard, Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack each averaging roughly 13 points per game. However, there's still the Curry Factor; meaning, Davidson's star is more than capable of taking over a game and more or less winning it by himself.
Of course, he probably won't have to -- Andrew Lovedale has blossomed this year, averaging over 12 points, nine rebounds and a block per game, making the Wildcats dangerous on the defensive end as well.
Butler's currently 11th in the nation, which should make the spread on this game pretty interesting. It takes place on the Wildcats' home court, and their only losses have been to Duke, Oklahoma and Purdue, none of which is particularly embarrassing. In theory, Butler should be favored (because they're a top 15 team, right?) but based on the matchup, that seems like it would be a mistake.
It'll end up being a good game, and regardless of the outcome, it probably won't affect tournament bids for either team all that much; both Davidson and Butler should be locks to get in with at-large bids.