March 15, 2017

MILWAUKEE (AP) No. 4 seed Butler (23-8) vs. No. 13 seed Winthrop (26-6)

First round, South region; Milwaukee; 1:30 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: No longer a mid-major darling, Butler enters the tournament with its highest-ever seed. The Bulldogs limit mistakes, averaging a Big East-low 10.2 turnovers per game. Big South Tournament champion Winthrop is led by the dynamic Keon Johnson. The 5-foot-7 guard is eager to prove doubters wrong in his first trip to the NCAAs.

NOTHING BUT NCAAs: Third-year coach Chris Holtmann took the Bulldogs to the tourney for the third straight season, joining Brad Stevens as the only coaches to take Butler to the tourney in their first three seasons.

NEON KEON: Johnson averaged 22.5 points a game for Winthrop and shot 40 percent from 3-point range. The senior said he models his game after Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas, another diminutive guard who is fearless in going to the hoop.

DID YOU KNOW: Winthrop is ranked 17th in the NCAAs in blocked shots, averaging 5.3 a game. Rangy, 6-foot-8 forward Xavier Cooks leads the team with 1.8 blocks per game.


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