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December 14, 2007
Butler vs. FSU should be defensive battle
Because most schools are in exams this week, the weekend slate is devoid of a game matching top-25 teams.
But that isn't to say there aren't a few matchups of intrigue. Impact freshmen James Anderson of Oklahoma State and DeJuan Blair of Pitt square off in Pittsburgh. Tougher-than-you-know Western Kentucky battles Tennessee as part of the Sun Belt Classic in Nashville. Louisville plays for the first time since its home loss to Dayton against young and hungry Purdue.
Our choice for Game of the Weekend, though, features Florida State (9-2) and Butler (8-1) (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET). It's the second half of a doubleheader with the Louisville-Purdue game at the Wooden Tradition event at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Seminoles are riding a six-game winning streak, while the Bulldogs are coming off their first loss, a 43-42 heartbreaker at Horizon League rival Wright State.
FSU is winning because of its defense. The Seminoles have yielded just 53.2 points per game during the streak, and they rank 32nd nationally in scoring defense (59.2). As good as that is, Butler is better: The Bulldogs rank sixth, surrendering 54.3 points per game.
Butler normally is much more efficient offensively than it was in the loss to Wright State. The Bulldogs shot only 32 percent against the Raiders. They were averaging 11 3-pointers per game and shooting 41.8 percent from beyond the arc before they hit only 7-of-21 against the Raiders.
Can Butler bounce back? Or will FSU's defense keep the Bulldogs on a slide? Here's a closer look:
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.