By Tony Lamont
Tonight the Butler Bulldogs pulled out a win 71-70 over the Pitt Panthers that has sent them to the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The win over top-seeded Pittsburg was a back and forth thriller. At one point in the first half Butler lead by 12-points, and it looked like they would dominate Pitt. In the second half the Panthers came back to tie it with just 15:24 left in the half, and then went on a seven point run and took the lead 53-48.
The stand out for the Bulldogs was Shelvin Mack. The Bulldogs junior guard scored 30 points, just two away for his career high, and a school tournament scoring record. Mack clearly had the hot hand going 10 for 16 from the field, including 7 for 12 behind the 3-point line. But it was the last few moments of the game that people will be talking about for a long time. Why in the world would Mack foul the Panthers Gilbert Brown with 1.4 seconds left? The foul sent Brown to the line where he sank the first from the charity stripe to tie it. He missed the second, and the rebound was pulled down by Matt Howard for the Bulldogs, but something strange happened again. Panthers Nasir Robinson fouled Howard on the rebound, WHAT? That foul sent Howard to the other end with a chance to win the game for the Bulldogs for the second time in a row. Howard sank the first shot and intentionally missed the second, giving them the 71-70 victory over the Panthers.. Butler is headed to New Orleans to take on Wisconsin Thursday.