The 2011 NCAA Tournament Final Four's battle of the underdogs! No. 11 VCU and No. 8 Butler weren't supposed to be here -- well, Butler kind of was, because they are every year. VCU hopes to take a scalp from the mighty Horizon League to add to its power conference collection, setting up a shot at either another Big East team or a SEC squad.
Game time, TV schedule, location: April 2 at 6 pm ET, CBS, Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Winner gets the winner of the 8:30 pm ET Kentucky-UConn game in the 2011 NCAA Tournament final on April 4, also at Reliant.
Odds, spread, and over/under: Odds have been tight throughout the week, with the Rams rising to +115. VCU also opened the week 2.5-point underdogs, which has grown to 3 as of Saturday morning. Money expects a low-scoring game, with the over/under bouncing between 131 and 134 depending on where and when you look.
Predictions: Butler to cover. And the under, too. The question of this game is which VCU team will show up -- the one that lost to Georgia State, Northeastern, and UAB, or the one that can't stop hitting three-pointers. VCU has worked its way up to 57th in the country in three-point percentage from deep -- but at points this season they've fallen below 120th. Shaka Smart's team is capable of going cold, believe it or not, and for no specific reason I think Butler can make it happen.
For more on this game, fans of either team should join Mid Major Madness, Butler fans should join SB Nation Indiana, and VCU fans should join SB Nation DC.