Puerto Rico Tip-Off Preview and Predictions

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Mar 19, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Butler Bulldogs head coach Chris Holtmann signals from the bench against the Texas Longhorns in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Now, it is time for the Semifinal and Finals predictions. Will the favorites of Miami and Butler make it to the finals or will Utah or Miami play the spoiler?

Semifinal Predictions

Butler v. Minnesota: This will be a tough one for the ‘Dawgs, but I still see them coming away victorious, as long as they clean up on the glass and execute well offensively. Quick, dumb shots could be Butler’s downfall, so the team needs to ensure it uses as much of the shot clock as possible and utilize the pick and roll early and often.

Utah v. Miami: Potentially the best matchup of the tournament, I see Miami knocking off the Utes, but by no more than eight points. I’m not sure Utah can contend with Miami’s height and defensive prowess, even though the Utes are ranked much higher in national polls. But as Butler fans will gladly tell you, sometimes rankings are just a number.


Butler v. Miami: Surprise, surprise. I’m picking Butler. But not because I’m biased, which I definitely am, but because the ‘Dawgs looked so good in their opening game and appear to be firing on all cylinders. Even the bench players looked strong, which is typically the key to a deep run into March. With that said, however; Miami won’t go down without a fight. They are bigger and faster than Butler, but play at a much more chaotic pace, which opens up the potential for errors. And if the Bulldogs can capitalize on those errors and minimize their own mistakes, they should have a great shot at adding one more trophy to the trophy case.

Next: Boilermakers: Hammons Returns for One-Sided Victory

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