In recent memory, there haven’t been two bigger fairy tale mid-majors than VCU and Butler. However, Butler may want to repress Saturday's TKO. In their first matchup since Butler's victory in the 2011 national semifinal, VCU scored a measure of revenge against its new conference foe in a 84-52 runaway victory. Behind a raucous Shakaville crowd, VCU served Butler a heavy handed early afternoon beatdown on national television.
Shaka Smart’s frenetic full-court pressure defense wreaked havoc on Butler’s offense by forcing 14 first half turnovers and took a 24 point lead into halftime. VCU slowed down the haymakers in the second half but still TKO’d Butler by 32 while deep threat Troy Daniels led the way with 20 points. Smart's Havoc defense has earned planty of acclaim and won just as many games over the past three seasons, but this unit, which leads the nation in turnovers forced and steals may be his best defensive unit yet. In a year when no major conference team has taken the top spot by the throat, the national title is anyone's to take. Butler will have to regroup before the A-10 conference tournament, but if reports of the Bulldogs joining the Catholic 7 are true, it may be their last one as well.
Butler's 14 first-half TOs against #VCU more than its had in 14 complete games this season.— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) March 2, 2013