Saint Louis looks to continue its dominance when the No.
16-ranked and top-seeded Billikens play fifth-seeded Butler in the Atlantic 10
semifinals Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y. Saint Louis, which has won 13 of its last
14 games, is coming off a 72-55 victory over ninth-seeded Charlotte in Friday’s
semifinals. The Billikens finished 13-3 in the conference, winning their first
outright regular-season title since 1957.
Butler, which has won four straight, defeated fourth-seeded La Salle 69-58in Friday’s semifinals after beating 12th-seeded Dayton 73-67 in Thursday’s first round. The Bulldogs finished third in the conference at 11-5. Butler was swept by Saint Louis in the regular season, losing 65-61 on Feb. 22 in Indianapolis and falling 75-58 on Jan. 31 in St. Louis.
TV: 1:30 p.m. ET, CBS
ABOUT BUTLER (26-7): The Bulldogs, who are in their first season in the A-10 after leaving the Horizon League, have big wins over Gonzaga, Indiana and Marquette and likely will make their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in six seasons under head coach Brad Stevens. Stevens guided Butler to four Horizon League regular-season championships, three league tournament titles and back-to-back NCAA national runner-up finishes during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. Senior guard Rotnei Clarke, who leads Butler in scoring (16.8), led five Bulldogs in double figures with 14 points against La Salle on Friday.
ABOUT SAINT LOUIS (25-6): Junior forward Dwayne Evans scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Billikens past Charlotte. Evans finished 8-for-9 shooting and 9-for-9 from the foul line. Evans, who was selected to the A-10 First-Team All-Conference squad, leads the team in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (7.6). Senior forward Cody Ellis, the A-10 Sixth Man of the Year, has come off the bench in all 31 games and is second on the team in scoring (10.2). Senior guard Kwamain Mitchell (10.1) and junior guard Mike McCall Jr. (10) also average double-digit points.
* Over is 5-1 in Bulldogs’ last six neutral site games.
* Billikens are 6-0 ATS in their last six Saturday games.
* Billikens are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team
with a winning percentage above .600.
1. Saint Louis interim head coach Jim Crews on Tuesday was named National Coach of the Year by The Sporting News and Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year by the conference. Crews took over the program in August after it was announced that Rick Majerus would not coach this season. Majerus died during the season.
2. Evans has scored in double figures in 13 straight games.
3. Butler sophomore F Kameron Woods scored six of his 10 points and grabbed all nine of his rebounds in the second half against La Salle.