Making Final 4 picks in the duel between the VCU Rams and Butler Bulldogs could be tough, but we have all of the college basketball trends necessary to sort your way through these two teams.
The reason that these Final 4 picks are going to be so difficult is because there has never been a duel in the National Semifinals quite like this. Not only has an eight seed never taken on an eleven seed in the dance, but nothing like this has ever happened in the Final Four.
This is the first time that a No. 8 has played a seed anything higher than another No. 8 in the Final Four, and it is just the second time since the tourney expanded to 64 teams that there are two seeds in the same Final Four game that are worse than No. 5 seeds.
VCU has absolutely pulled off the impossible to make it here for the chance to make for successful Final 4 picks. The Rams navigated an extra game in the First Four, and they have blown through five straight foes. They were dogs in all five games, and had they won the Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game, they actually would have had seven straight wins as pups, something that you just don't ever see in sports in general.
However, it's hard to argue with what Butler has been able to pull off of late as well. Since it entered the postseason, it has been totally flawless. It beat both the Cleveland State Vikings and Wisconsin Milwaukee Panthers as short favorites in de facto road games, and it has stormed into the dance with four straight covers and outright wins as underdogs as well.
Needless to say, the Final 4 picks for trends in this one are all going to be amazing for both the CAA reps and the Horizon League champs.
The Rams have covered nine straight NCAA Tournament games dating back to the days of Eric Maynor being in the program, and in all nine, they were underdogs. VCU has covered six straight games played out of conference dating back to BracketBusters, and it is 4-1 ATS in its last five games as dogs of 6.5 points or fewer.
For Butler, it is now 17-5 ATS in its last 22 games played in the dance, including making for successful Final 4 picks last year in the semifinals and in the National Championship Game. The Dogs are 15-2 ATS in their last 17 played on neutral courts, but Head Coach Brad Stevens has some very, very impressive marks as well against rock solid teams.
The Bulldogs are 21-4-2 ATS in their last 27 games against teams with a winning percentage great than .600, and they are 21-5-2 ATS in their last 28 games against teams with a winning record.
This set of Final 4 Picks between Butler and VCU will be the first time these teams have met in their programs' histories.