March Madness BettingFor as quick as people have been to criticize those that lobbied for a team other than the Virginia Commonwealth Rams to be included in the play-in for this year’s NCAA national title tournament, their fans may actually want to thank them. Nobody expected VCU to get in, but it seems as though they’ve used their doubters as motivation to play better than they did all year en route to a fourth place finish in the Colonial conference. Now comes their toughest test yet, a Final Four matchup against the Butler Bulldogs team that has shed the title of underdog in this year’s tournament to become a legitimate favorite.

Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs. Butler Bulldogs

Saturday April 4, 2011 – 6:09 PM ET


Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas


Online Sports Betting
Odds: Butler – 3.5

That’s what happens when a team goes 9-1 in March Madness betting play over a two-year span, which is what the Bulldogs have done to earn a Final Four appearance for the second consecutive season. Butler beat three of the top four seeded teams in the Southeast to reach the national semi-final, and are focused on completing unfinished business.

March Madness Betting Preview: VCU

From an enthusiastic young head coach to a team that has simply lit it up from beyond the arc, everything about the Rams’ run to the Final Four has been exciting. Nobody will talk about how the first two teams they beat were really struggling, with both the Georgetown Hoyas and Purdue Boilermakers at the low point of their seasons entering tournament play. Nobody will talk about how they shot the lights out to survive a scare from a Florida State Seminoles’ team that was seeded just one spot higher, or how Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks always choke in the Elite Eight. The bottom line is that VCU is shooting better than they have all year, and their hot streak has made them one of the most dominant teams nobody predicted would be here.

March Madness Betting Preview: Butler

In order to succeed in this tournament, teams need to be able to perform under pressure, and that is exactly what the Bulldogs’ calling card has been the past two seasons. Despite struggling through the Horizon regular season, Butler came alive with a close win over the Old Dominion Monarchs, and were even better in a 71-70 victory over the top-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers. Butler isn’t the sharpshooting team that VCU has been in this tournament, preferring to grind it out with sports betting bonus opponents and wear them down inside. Perimeter defense will be the key to slowing down the Rams, and if they can do that the Bulldogs shouldn’t have a problem winning it with a strong inside game.

March Madness Betting: Outlook & Pick

The Rams have overachieved throughout the entire tournament, but there is only so long that they can continue to perform at such a high level. Butler represents the most physical team they will face, and should wear them down offensively, while giving them no space at the other end of the floor. VCU has been this year’s Cinderella team, but their road will end against a Bulldogs’ team that has unfinished pay per head business.

March Madness Betting Pick: Bulldogs – 3.5

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