Butler Bulldogs vs. Seton Hall Pirates Pick & Prediction JANUARY 13th 2024

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Two of the Big East Conference’s most surprising teams will lock horns when Butler welcomes Seton Hall to Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon.

Butler (11-5, 2-3) had a solid showing in the nonconference schedule before earning its biggest win of the season Wednesday, taking down No. 11 Marquette 69-62 on the road. Seton Hall (11-5, 4-1) owns wins over three Big East foes that were ranked at the time: UConn, Providence and Marquette.

Both teams realistically are in the mix for an NCAA Tournament berth despite being picked ninth (Seton Hall) and 10th (Butler) in the Big East coaches’ preseason poll, respectively.

The Bulldogs haven’t gone to the NCAA Tournament since 2018, which is why Thad Matta was brought back as head coach last season. He took the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 as head coach in 2000-01 before moving on to bigger successes at Xavier and Ohio State.

“I think the first thing we look for when we were retooling this team is character, and we’ve got some really fine young men,” Matta said after upsetting Marquette. “They’ve done a great job from the day everybody got to camp in June.”

Butler’s four double-digit scorers transferred from other schools last offseason: Pierre Brooks (16.4 points per game, Michigan State), Jahmyl Telfort (14.0, Northeastern), DJ Davis (13.6, UC Irvine) and Posh Alexander (10.2, St. John’s).

Brooks and reserve Landon Moore, a transfer from St. Francis (Pa.), each scored 14 points to guide Butler’s balanced attack against Marquette. The Bulldogs shot 44.4 percent overall and 45.5 percent (10 of 22) from 3-point range.

Seton Hall had a close call its last time out. After establishing a 24-8 lead early against host Georgetown, the Pirates sweated out a second-half Hoyas comeback to win 74-70.

Dylan Addae-Wusu — a teammate of Alexander’s at St. John’s before transferring to Seton Hall — made a clutch steal and score with 1:24 left to put the Pirates up 68-65 and help them hang on.

“I was on (Addae-Wusu),” coach Shaheen Holloway told the Asbury Park Press. “He had bad body language, and he wasn’t playing well — he let his offense dictate his defense. I took him out, we had a talk and we hugged it out and I told him, ‘Your defense is going to win the game for us.'”

Al-Amir Dawes has scored 25 and 23 points in his past two games, shooting a combined 9-of-12 from 3-point territory. Kadary Richmond had 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists against Georgetown.

–Field Level Media

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