for this game

Mid-Major powers to clash in Indianapolis

Feb 17, 2007 - 4:03 PM No. 15 Southern Illinois (22-5) at No. 12 Butler (24-3) 4:00 pm EST

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) - In a rare late-season non-conference matchup of ranked teams, Southern Illinois meets Butler on Saturday.

Both mid-major powers have been playing well lately with Southern Illinois looking for its ninth straight and Butler goes for its 11th win in their last 12 games.

Butler (24-3, 11-2 Horizon) took a break from Horizon League play its last time out and faced division II Florida Gulf Coast University. The Bulldogs notched a surprisingly tough win, 79-65, in a game that stayed close until the final minutes.

Mike Green led Butler with a career-high 24 points and A.J. Graves added 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting.

Southern Illinois (22-5, 13-3 Missouri Valley Conference) has been taking control of the Missouri Valley with staunch defense, leading the league in scoring defense by allowing just 56.9 points per game.

The Salukis used that defense to win against Missouri State last time out, 51-47. Southern Illinois held the Bears to under 38 percent shooting for the game. Randal Falker led the Salukis with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

This match-up should be a good tune-up for both teams as they try to reach peak form heading into March and the NCAA Tournament.