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Butler v Villanova

Source: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty

PHILADELPHIA — This point of the season is all about your “resume”. The resume you have to present before the Selection Committee when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.

The Butler Bulldogs continue to flirt with the bubble which the committee might select as their “Last Four In.” The Bulldogs’ margin for error, which is already small enough, got even smaller Tuesday night in a 72-62 loss to Villanova.

Butler shot as well as they could in the first half, an astounding 58% from the field. The problem was, so did Villanova. The Wildcats shot 60% from the first in the game’s first 20 minutes.

The hot shooting had the Dawgs hanging with Nova midway through the 1st half, but a late surge in the half, led by Eric Dixon, Brenden Hausen, and Tyler Burton, gave Nova a 44-35 lead at halftime.

Both teams slowed down in the shooting department in the second half, and that late first-half surge by Villanova would prove to be the difference in the game as Butler could not reel the Wildcats back in despite three players scoring in double figures.

Nova outscored Butler 28-27 in the second half, maintaining their lead and holding on for the 72-62 victory.

“I’ve said this all along, we don’t have to play great, we have to play good,” said head coach Thad Matta after the game. “Defensively, in the first half, we weren’t that good. Second half, we were good, but we weren’t offensively good. Give (Villanova) credit. They had a lot to do with that.”

Jahmyl Telfort led the Dawgs with 19 points. Posh Alexander had his best game in a while scoring 15. A glaring stat was that Villanova held sharp-shooter DJ Davis to just four points for the whole night.

The gravity of Butler’s next game is immense now as they will face Seton Hall in New Jersey on Saturday. The game is critical for the Bulldogs to win since Seton Hall is also in the bubble conversations for the NCAA Tournament.

Most tournament prognosticators have both Butler and Seton Hall in their “Last Four In” category.

As Coach Matta said, Butler will need to be “good” for a full 40 minutes on Saturday if they would like a shot to dance in late March.