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In the so-called mid-major semifinal, one team's lockdown defense will be constantly assaulted by the other's run-and-gun attack
HOW TO BEAT BUTLER
WHEN THE BULLDOGS HAVE THE BALL
They play at a fast pace, so try to keep them off-balance by mixing up zone and man defenses. You want to pressure their guards and make them work to get up the floor. You have to slow down Shelvin Mack, who's a terrific player, and limit his looks from the three-point line. Butler plays a very physical brand of basketball, and the Bulldogs rely on toughness and hustle plays. You have to work hard at beating them to loose-ball rebounds, which can kill you. They seem to get all the ones that bounce 12, 14, 17 feet away.
ATTACKING THE BULLDOGS' DEFENSE
They don't trap in the post, so you want to put the ball on the blocks and attack them inside. You should also put them in pick-and-rolls as much as possible and hope one of their defenders arrives late. But the reality is that they're really solid on defense—that's their strength—and it's tough to score on them no matter who you are. Your bigger concern should be keeping them from scoring.
Confidence. They believe. They've been there before. And they play as hard as anyone in the country—consistently. I don't think they ever have a player in the game that you could say, He doesn't play as hard as he possibly can.
HOW TO BEAT VCU
WHEN THE RAMS HAVE THE BALL