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Preview: Butler at Georgetown

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BIG EAST Play Begins!

NCAA Basketball: Alabama A&M at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 12: Butler Bulldogs (10-3) at Georgetown Hoyas (10-1)

Series: Hoyas lead 6-4, teams split last season

Where/When: Capital One Arena/ Wednesday 630pm

TV: FS1

KenPom: Butler 74-71, 59 percent

Line: Butler -4, o/u 145

Not to put too much importance on the opening night of an 18 game BIG EAST schedule but this game is, well, really important. And that goes for both teams.

Georgetown and coach Patrick Ewing find themselves in unfamiliar territory in the early part of the league schedule as four of the first six games for the Hoyas are on the road.

Through eleven games Georgetown has traveled away from Capital One Arena just once in winning 82-76 at Richmond on November 25.

Georgetown played probably its most complete game of the season over the weekend in crushing Alabama A&M. Ewing was able to give Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson a lighter than usual outing while Antwan Walker showed that he deserves minutes after earning the trust of his coach.

In what will be a theme all season, the Hoyas will need big nights from the junior class - Govan, Derrickson, and Kaleb Johnson. Ewing has four guards to work with and the minutes from game to game seem like they could vary. Jahvon Blair and Mosely played a big part in Georgetown’s only true test thus far against Syracuse.

After facing Georgetown, Butler plays its next four games against ranked teams. With those grueling contests looming, picking up a win against a Georgetown team that is predicted to finish ninth is a must for coach LaVall Jordan in his first year as Butler’s coach. Butler lost its only true road game of the season in losing 79-65 at Maryland in the Gavitt Games.

While these two schools split a pair of games last season, Butler has won the last two meetings at Georgetown - both in overtime. In fact the last Hoyas win over Butler at home had a rather dramatic finish as then freshman Issac Copeland made a corner 3-pointer to put Georgetown ahead before DSR blocked Roosevelt Jones’ final attempt near the rim as time expired.

Scouting Butler: Kelan Martin leads the Bulldogs with 17.9 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. Kamar Baldwin and George Washington transfer Paul Jorgensen make for a dynamic backcourt. Baldwin averages 12.9 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 2.8 assists per game but shoots under 30 percent from 3-point range. Jorgensen, who played not too far from Georgetown his first two seasons, mirrors Baldwin’s numbers but the junior is a threat from deep. Tylder Wideman is another frontcourt player to watch but the senior struggled in both games against Georgetown last season.

Prediction: Georgetown 72, Butler 70....Hoyas win as Derrickson doesn’t foul out.