After Thursday’s 72-70 buzzer beating win over Old Dominion, Butler had another crazy finish against top-seeded Pittsburgh Saturday night. Butler hit the go ahead lay up with just eight seconds left. That put Butler up 70-69. As Pitt was driving down the court, Shelvin Mack of Butler fouled Gilbert Mack to send Pittsburgh to the line for two shots. Panther Nasir Robinson made the first free throw to tie it at 70, but missed the go ahead free throw. As Butler grabbed the final rebound, Matt Howard threw the ball up for a desperation full court shot but got fouled with .8 seconds left. Howard made one free throw and eighth-seeded Butler defeated the number one ranked Pittsburgh, 71-70, in a crazy ending at the Verizon Center. Shelvin Mack was the leading scorer for Butler and the overall leading scorer with 30 points. Even with the loss, Pittsburgh was blazing from the field shooting 56.6 percent. The final plays with the fouls were judgment calls by the officials. Judgment calls are not be reviewable.
Panther head coach Jamie Dixon said after the game, “Obviously for us it was—we’ve had a few losses this year, not a lot, but they’ve all been disappointing. This is a disappointing loss for us.”
Brad Steven, Butler’s head coach said, “I just heard Jamie and one of the things that is very clear and needs to be made very clear is we’re not a better basketball team than Old Dominion or Pittsburgh. We just had the ball last. And I think that’s just what happens sometimes, [when] you have two really good basketball teams that are very evenly matched. And he’s a heck of a basketball coach. Those kids played really hard. They were really hard to stop we couldn’t guard them.
“And you talk about the last sequences, and I said this on CBS, you hate to see a game end that way. But I asked Shelvin, did he think he fouled him, and he thought he fouled him and Matt thought he got fouled. So that was the way the game ended.”
Butler now goes to play in the Sweet Sixteen against Wisconsin on Thursday in New Orleans.
The final game of the Verizon Center rounds featured Connecticut and Cincinnati. This game started just before 10 p.m. Saturday. UConn beat Cinci, 69-58, and advances to play San Diego State in the Sweet Sixteen in Anaheim, Calif.
After the game YDC asked senior Rashad Bishop what it was like playing his final game for Cinci. He said, “It’s tough. I had a great career. I had a lot of fun with the guys I played with, and it was real fun. These guys—we all worked hard all four years. We just gave everything we had and I’m proud of everybody. We’re disappointed we didn’t win, but we’re all proud for what we accomplished this year.”
YDC then asked winning head coach Jim Calhoun of UConn if his team had any fatigue due to starting at 10 p.m. “I’m fatigued. It’s past my bedtime,” he said. Adding, “No. But I mean, in all candor, there’s something about playing, especially when you’re successful. If you’re going through a losing streak or something, you’re winning, and every time in seven straight for us against good teams on big stages, that’s adrenaline. That feeds you.”