After climbing to No. 2 in the AP Poll and appearing to be in the conversation for the best team in college basketball, the Connecticut Huskies enter Sunday’s home game against the Butler Bulldogs having lost five of their last six games.
Butler Bulldogs vs. Connecticut Huskies (-15, 137.5)
Things have not been so great lately for Butler either, who has lost three of its last four games, scoring 61 points or fewer in all three losses.
Butler has dealt with its fair share of injuries with Manny Bates sidelined the past two games after being limited to just 13 minutes against St. John’s. Bates leads the squad in both blocks (1.9) and rebounds (5.9) per game, so the defensive success and efficiency will certainly suffer.
Although it’s not guaranteed, there is optimism that Bates will play on Sunday, which will provide help on the glass against a Connecticut squad that ranks ninth in the nation in rebound rate.
These teams met earlier this season with Connecticut getting a 68-46 victory. However, the Huskies were up by just six points with over seven minutes remaining before ending the game on a 20-4 run.
The first meeting was also just the first game of the season for Bulldogs’ players Ali Ali and Jalen Thomas, who combined for only 16 minutes and six points against the Huskies. Since that meeting, Ali is averaging 6.9 points across 25.9 minutes while Thomas is averaging 7.1 points across 20.8 minutes.
The Huskies have scored fewer than 70 points in three of their last five games and won’t have it easy with the Bulldogs allowing the fourth-fewest attempts from the free-throw line per possession in the nation.
After the last matchup between these two teams ended on a sour note for Butler, they are out for revenge. With the injuries starting to subside, the Bulldogs will give a struggling Huskies team a true test that they aren’t necessarily prepared for.
The Play: Butler +15
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