The Stanford Cardinal had a great opportunity to show to the college basketball nation they were ready to be respected by winning a game against a semi-impressive opponent. But the Butler Bulldogs have been through the rounds before, while Stanford is still learning to win as a team.
Butler isn't the same team they were when they went to two national championship games in a row the previous two seasons, as they were only 5-7 before this contest. But they relied on their always reliable three point shooting, knocking 10 of 23 from downtown to give them a decided advantage from the outside. Ronald Nored put up 18 points thanks to three three-pointers and five of nine shooting, Jackson Aldridge added 15 points on five of seven shooting. That three point shooting, added in with tough Butler defense, helped the Bulldogs overcome an early deficit, and they took a solid lead in the second half and held off a late Stanford rally.
Most of the Cardinal players had strong performances, particularly Josh Owens with 17 points and Chasson Randle with 16 points. But Stanford's three point defense fell apart, and it ended up being the difference in this one.
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