by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
This year’s Butler looks like it might be…Butler. The Bulldogs were the first team to knock off a No.1 seed in this year’s tournament when Matt Howard sank a free throw with 0.8 seconds remaining to give his team a 71-70 victory over Pittsburgh.
A frantic and somewhat controversial final seconds provided the tournament with its best finish so far. With Butler trailing by one and close to three seconds remaining, Andrew Smith hit a layup to put the Bulldogs up 70-69.
On the ensuing inbound pass, Shelvin Mack fouled Gilbert Brown near midcourt when he bumped him with his body. After Brown hit the first free throw, he missed the second and as Howard corralled the rebound he was fouled by Nasir Robinson with 0.8 seconds remaining.
Howard hit the first of two free throws to put his team ahead for good and give Butler yet another upset victory in March. For Howard, it was his second-straight game-winning basket. He finished with 16 points, while Mack, who almost became the goat, had 30.