Can Butler hold on?

INDIANAPOLIS -- Hometown favorite Butler has a 47-43 lead over Michigan State with less than six minutes to go in Saturday night's NCAA tournament national semifinals game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Can the Bulldogs close it out? Here are a few things to watch:

  • After Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack carried the Bulldogs in the first half, junior forward Matt Howard and senior guard Willie Veasley are helping in the second half. Howard went to the bench and appears to be a little bit wobbly after a collision under the basket.

  • How much do the Spartans miss sophomore guard Kalin Lucas, who is sidelined with a ruptured Achilles tendon? Michigan State has turned the ball over 14 times, and the Bulldogs have converted them into 19 points. The Spartans have seven turnovers this half; Butler has turned it over only once in the second half.

  • After sizzling starts, both teams are struggling to score. Neither team had made a field goal for more than five minutes at the 6:04 mark.