Larry Ness' Weekly Wipeout winner (34-19 s/Dec 23): Larry's Wipeout Winners have lived up to the moniker, going 34-19 (64%) since Dec 23, in all sports. After a 'mixed bag' over the weekend with tourney games (5-5), Larry opens the new week with his latest Weekly Wipeout Winner, a game which his expert analysis will detail, has "B-L-O-W-O-U-T written all over it!" Your move.
Game: Butler at Pennsylvania Mar 19 2012 8:00PM
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: My 9* Weekly Wipeout Winner is on Butler at 8:00 ET.
Butler’s been to each of the last two NCAA national championship games, so an appearance in TY’s CBI is clearly a step down in class. However, Brad Stevens did not turn this program into what it has become, by NOT being able to get his team to focus. The Bulldogs ‘caught fire’ late in the season, taking a five-game winning streak (4-1 ATS) into their regular season finale at Valpo. However, the Crusaders stopped Butler’s winning streak with a 71-59 victory, canning 26 FTs to Butler’s 13! Butler had to play in the Horizon’s opening round and won 70-52 at home over Wright St and then beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Valpo’s home court. However, a rematch with Valpo in the Horizon semis, didn’t go Butler’s way, as the Bulldogs’ loss ended their NCAA hopes. Butler opened TY’s CBI with an impressive 75-58 win over Delaware, despite being out-shot from the floor, 47.5 percent to 41 percent. Butler cruised by winning the turnover battle (17-14) and owning the glass (31-22), which resulted in six more made FGs than the Blue Hens. The Bulldogs were also hot from three-point range, making 8-of-19. The Bulldogs are led by the 6-11 Smith (10.9-5.2) and the 6-7 Marshall (9.3-3.9). The team's perimeter group is deep, with Hopkins (8.9) scoring the most, joined by Nored (7.8-4.3-5.2), freshman Jones (7.8-6.0) and Stigall (5.5) rounding out the main contributors. Another freshman, the 6-9 Woods (4.3-4.9), has also gotten better as the year’s gone on. Hopkins led four players in double figures vs Delaware, scoring 19 points. Of note has been freshman Jones disappearing these last two games (a total of just two points), after averaging 11.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG over his previous 11 games. Penn is no stranger to the postseason, as this marks the school's 25th appearance, and its first since qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2007. The Quakers defeated 74-63 Quinnipiac at The Palestra in the first round, 74-63. Penn had won SEVEN straight games going into its regular-season finale against Princeton on March 6 and with a win in that game would have forced a one-game playoff with Harvard for the Ivy League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. However, the Quakers were unable to beat their longtime Ivy rivals, 62-52. This Quaker is led by two seniors, guard Rosen (18.5-3.2-5.3) and the 6-6 Bernardini (12.4-5) plus sophomore guard Cartwright (10.3). However, Bernardini sat out the team's first game of this tourney with a foot injury (news came late) and it’s likely to be at best, a game-time decision here. Cartwright picked up the slacks vs Quinnipiac, scoring 23 points with nine rebounds and six assists while the 6-6 Belcore (7.3-4.7) had 14 points (Rosen had 16 points and nine assists). Besting Quinnipiac is one thing but Butler is a ‘horse of a different color!’ Butler has ‘slogged’ through most of this season, not quite being able to replace Howard (16.4-7.7) and Mack (16.0), not to mention the losses of Vanzant (8.1) and Hahn (4.9) but I’m sure not going against Stevens and his tournament record, in virtually a pick’em situation. The Bulldogs’ more physical brand of basketball will ultimately be too much for the Quakers to cope with.