No. 9 seed Butler (14-17, 6-14 BIG EAST) vs. No. 8 seed St. John’s (17-14, 7-13)

BIG EAST Tournament First Round

Wednesday, March 8;  3PM ET

Madison Square Garden; New York City

TV: FS1 – Tim Brando, Bill Raftery & Kristina Pink

Radio: 1430AM & Varsity Network Radio App – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)

Bulldogs vs. St. John’s

• This is the first meeting between Butler and St. John’s in the BIG EAST Tournament.

• While Butler and St. John’s have never met at the BIG EAST Tournament, the only other neutral site match-up also came at Madison Square Garden; that was a St. John’s win in the 1958 NIT.

• Other than the 1958 NIT match-up, all 20 of the other meetings have come since Butler joined the BIG EAST Conference prior to the 2013-14 season.

Series: Butler Leads, 11-10

Streak: Butler, W1

At BIG EAST Tournament: 0-0

First Meeting: SJU, 78-68; 3/13/1958

Last Meeting: BU, 68-66; 2/7/23

• Butler has played in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament four times; the Bulldogs are 2-2 in those contests, including back-to-back wins over Xavier in the 2021 and 2022 tournaments.

• Chuck Harris is averaging 18.0 points per game in his four BIG EAST Tournament games at Madison Square Garden.

• Butler and St. John’s split the regular season series with each team winning on its home court.

• Jayden Taylor led the Bulldogs with 19 points in Butler’s 68-66 win over St. John’s Feb. 7 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler overcame a seven-point halftime deficit and trailed by five with less than three minutes to play.

• After committing 22 turnovers in the Jan. 10 loss at St. John’s (Butler’s second-highest total this season), the Bulldogs had only 11 turnovers in the Feb. 7 win over the Red Storm.

• Butler had 19 assists on 23 made field goals in the Feb. 7 win over St. John’s.

• Taylor has led the Bulldogs in scoring in seven of Butler’s eight most recent games.

• Taylor is averaging in team-best 14.8 points per game in Butler’s 15 games away from Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.

• Taylor has scored 20 or more points in five games this season.

• According to KenPom, Butler has played the nation’s 18th-toughest schedule so far this season. Twenty-two (22) of the team’s 31 regular season games came against teams currently among the Top 100 of the NCAA NET rankings.

• The Bulldogs were without Ali Ali (concussion symptoms) in last week’s losses to Top 25 foes Marquette and Xavier. Ali had scored in double figures in back-to-back games prior to that, including a season-high 15 points in the win at DePaul Feb. 22.

• All seven of Butler’s top scorers have only been available together in nine of the team’s 31 games this season.

• Manny Bates, who previously had missed two games with a shoulder injury sustained late in the Feb. 14 contest at Villanova, left the Xavier game Saturday night in the first half (and did not return) after aggravating the injury.

• Eric Hunter Jr. matched his season-high with seven assists Saturday at Xavier; it was one shy of his career-high.

• Saturday’s game at Xavier was the first this season where Butler did not register a blocked shot; at 4.3 blocks per game, the Bulldogs are among the Top 50 nationally. Butler has four games this season with eight or more blocks.

• Bates has 49 blocks this season, which already places him in a tie for fourth on Butler’s single-season list.

• Butler is committing only 13.4 fouls per game, which is fifth nationally.

• Jalen Thomas had 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds vs. Marquette Feb. 28; he has led the team in rebounds in eight games this season (despite missing 11 games this season).

• Butler is 13-2 this season when shooting a better field goal percentage than its opponent.

• Butler has shot 50 percent or better from the field 11 times this season; the Bulldogs have won all 11 of those games.

• Butler is 11-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points.

• Butler has shot 40 percent or better from behind the arc 11 times this season; Butler is 9-2 in those contests.

• Butler has a +1.0 rebounding margin in its 14 wins, while the Bulldogs’ opponents have a +11.3 rebounding margin in Butler’s 17 losses this season.