The upset minded Butler Bulldogs meet the Southeast Region's top seed, Pittsburgh, tonight at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The two tournament savvy squads are scheduled to begin play at 7:10pm ET on TBS. The latest College Basketball Lines have the Panthers listed as a -7.5 against the spread college basketball picks favorite; the Over/Under is set at 126.
Pittsburgh rebounded from its 74-76 loss to UConn in the Big East tournament with a 74-51 thrashing of North Carolina-Asheville on Thursday. The Panthers, which have won six straight NCAA Tournament openers, smoothered the Bulldogs offense, forcing Matt Dickey and company into a 17-for-55 shooting night.
Pitt also dominated the glass in the David versus Goliath affair, outrebounding UNCA 44 to 24.
Ashton Gibbs, the Panthers leading scorer, led the way on offense for Head Coach Jamie Dixon; the junior guard finsihed the game with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting (6-of-9 from three point range).
With a win tonight, Pittsburgh will advance to the regional semifinal for the third time in the last eight years.
Butler, which reached the regional semifinals in 2003, 2007, and 2010, advanced to the second round for the sixth time in its last seven NCAA Tournament appearances by beating Old Dominion 60-58.
The win, Butler's 10th in a row, could not have been more dramatic as Matt Howard iced the contest with a last second tip in. Howard finished the game with 15 points and five boards while Shelvin Mack contributed 15 points and five assists.
Butler, which was a two point underdog against the Monarchs, is 4-2 in its six second round games.
Butler vs Pittsburgh 2011 NCAA Bracket Predictions:
Butler Bulldogs +7.5 (-110), Over 126 (-110), +300 (Moneyline)
Pittsburgh Panthers -7.5 (-110), Under 126 (-110), -350 (Moneyline)