The NCAA Tournament South Regional First Round
No. 9 Butler (26-5) vs. No. 8 Louisiana State (26-7)
The Line: LSU -2 1/2
Thursday, March 19, 2009—12:20 PM EST
The first game of the NCAA tournament this year is one of the better first round matchups. This game features the regular season champs from the Horizon League, the Butler Bulldogs, against the regular season champs from the SEC, the LSU Tigers.
I was on Brian Scott's radio show in Baton Rouge on Monday this week talking about this game, the tournament in general, and our Free NCAA Tournament Bracket Contest with a $250 cash first prize, and I got the strong feeling that the people on the Bayou felt shafted by their seed and draw in the dance.
While winning the tourney and even getting to the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, or Final Four takes some incredible breaks, they feel that a probable second round matchup with the North Carolina Tar Heels was hardly a proper reward for a solid season. Such is life in NCAA hoops when you lose three of your last four.
Butler played well most of the season but was unable to close the deal in the Horizon League Tournament as well, losing to Cleveland State. The Bulldogs had a two-game lapse fairly late in the season and rebounded nicely beating Davidson on BracketBuster Saturday.
Butler put themselves in position to win their conference tourney by just having to win two games but couldn't get it done, and it may have cost them four positions or more in the seedings.
It's pretty clear that either of these teams could have been higher seeds and no one would have complained.
See this and all free NCAA Tournament picks against the spread.