As a former Cinderella itself, Butler didn’t treat a potential one too kindly Thursday.
The Bulldogs, of course, are underdogs no more.
Fourth-seeded Butler dominated No. 13 Winthrop from nearly start to finish to win 76-64 in a first-round matchup at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
The Bulldogs showed no ill effects from the two-game losing skid they entered the tournament on after dropping games to Seton Hall and Xavier. They struggled some on both ends of the floor in those two games.
That was no issue against the Eagles.
Butler shot 49 percent from the floor and made 8 of 19 from beyond the arc while holding Winthrop to 40 percent shooting overall.
Every shot Avery Woodson put up was from the 3-point line, and he made 6 of 10 to finish with 18 points. Andrew Chrabascz had 12 and Keelan Martin added 10.
Winthrop’s dynamo point guard Keon Johnson scored 17 points, five below his season average, but was clearly bothered by the length and athleticism he rarely saw from Big South opponents. He was 7 of 19 from the field. Xavier Cooks tried to help pick up the offensive slack, scoring 23 points, but he too was inefficient, going 10 of 22 from the field as the Eagles just couldn’t find consistent footing against their Big East foe.
Up next for the Bulldogs is a Round 2 matchup with the winner of Minnesota-Middle Tennessee State on Saturday.