Mar 30, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT
When will the law of averages kick in with Virginia Commonwealth’s 3-point shooting? Butler better hope it’s sooner rather than later (like Monday.)
The Rams’ offense is been unreal from beyond the arc during their five NCAA tournament wins, making 53 of 121 attempts. Doesn’t seem that amazing? Consider:
The Rams made 37 percent of their 3s this season, slightly better than the D-I average of 34.4.
They’ve been better during the tournament. VCU’s made 43.8 percent of its 3-point attempts in the tournament, and 43.8 percent of its 2s. Those numbers shouldn’t be equal.
Most impressive? All five of their NCAA tourney opponents held teams to less than 33.7 percent from beyond the arc this season. The last two, Kansas and Florida State, were in the top 20, at 30.6 percent or less. Yet VCU made 24 of 51 shots from deep vs. those two.
So. How will Butler fare?
The Bulldogs allow teams to shoot 32.4 percent from 3. That defense is better than average. Team also hoist more 3s per field-goal attempt (about 36 percent) vs. Butler, which means they’re shooting a lot against a team that defends the 3 well.
However, Butler’s been much better in the tournament.
Only Pitt’s made more than 34 percent of its 3s vs. the Bulldogs (6 of 11), while Wisconsin and Florida combined to go just 10 of 43 (23.5 percent) from deep vs. Butler.
What wins? I’d say it depends on how well Ronald Nored, Shawn Vanzant and Shelvin Mack defend the perimeter. And even then, VCU will keep shooting.
At this rate, why not?
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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