On Thursday, Butler proved it was one of the best shooting teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Cinderella-turned-Big-East-powerhouse made clutch baskets throughout a 71-61 victory over Texas Tech. Will the pinpoint accuracy of Kellen Dunham and Kelan Martin be enough to carry the Bulldogs to an upset win over top-seeded Virginia on Saturday?
The Cavaliers skipped through the first round with a starching of 16-seed Hampton. Senior Anthony Gill scored 19 points to lead Virginia to an 81-45 opening game rout. The only drama came when UVA coach Tony Bennett collapsed on the sideline late in the first half, an issue he'd later attribute to dehydration. The two-time ACC Coach of the Year later tweeted he was fine, and he should be ready to go for the team's showdown with Butler.
Virginia will need its team and coach at full strength to better last year's disappointing tournament result. The Cavs were picked as a potential Final Four team as a No. 2 seed in 2015, but suffered a 60-54 defeat to Michigan State in the round of 32. On Saturday, they can lock down their second Sweet Sixteen appearance in the last three seasons by beating the Bulldogs.
If Thursday's game is any indication, Butler won't be an easy out. Dunham and Martin led an offensive attack that scorched the nets in an opening round victory against Texas Tech. The Bulldogs connected on nearly 53 percent of their three-point attempts and forced 14 Red Raider turnovers in a convincing win. If Dunham and Martin can keep their momentum going on Saturday, they'll have the firepower to match Virginia's scoring shot for shot.
How to watch No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 9 Butler
Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
Place: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
Online: NCAA March Madness Live
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Watch No. 11 Northern Iowa stun No. 6 Texas with this amazing buzzer beater from half court
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