|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABOnly two times in the history of the NCAA tournament, in 1985, has a No. 8 seed beaten a No. 2 seed.
But since 1990, every tournament has been won by either a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed, except for twice. Those two times, the tournament champion was a No. 3 and No. 4 seed. Tonight, Butler will look to make history by making it to the Final Four as the No. 8 seed against No. 2 Florida.
The last two times these teams met, the games were great. Back in 2000, Butler was within a single shot of sending No. 5 Florida home early. Mike Miller's last-second shot allowed the Gators to progress, however. The next tournament meeting in 2007 featured a 65-57 Florida win over the Bulldogs, as the Gators were on the road to winning back-to-back titles.
So will this third meeting finally be the charm for Butler? Or is Florida just too dominant for the Bulldogs to compete with them on the national stage? The sportsbook favors Florida by 4 points, and, taking into consideration their history of beating Butler and their higher seed, but are those odds fair to the Gators and the Bulldogs?
After all, Butler has an amazing way of keeping games extremely close in the final minutes. Florida winning by more than 4 points over the Bulldogs would be a surprising feat. I would imagine the Gators will come out on top, but not by that much. Butler is just too smart of a team on both sides of the floor, and Florida will have to exercise patience in earning their points.
Butler is coming off of a win against Wisconsin 61-54 on Thursday. Their defense kept the Badgers shooting a frustratingly low 30.4 percent from the field. Florida, on the other hand, had to work overtime to get past Brigham Young 83-74 on Thursday. Their defense was also strong, keeping BYU's star Jimmer Fredette to 11-of-29 shooting.