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.