WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A quick look at Butler’s wild 71-70 win over Pittsburgh.
Overview: Absolutely top-shelf basketball in this game, with two experienced and intelligent teams leaving it all on the floor. Sadly it ended in controversy, with two fouls called in the final two seconds.
Turning point: Gilbert Brown missed the second of two free throws and just when the game appeared headed to overtime, Petty instead signaled foul with 0.8 on the clock. Matt Howard went to the line and hit one to win it.
Key player: Shelvin Mack and Brown both need to be mentioned. It was like they were playing H-O-R-S-E. Mack finished with 30 on 10-of-16 shooting (7-of-12 from 3) and Brown with 23 on 8-of-11, 4-of-5 from the beyond the arc. Neither senior wanted to lose.
Key stat: Butler drained 12 3-pointers to Pittsburgh’s six. Long-range shooting kept Butler in the game.
Miscellaneous: This game didn’t play exactly the way as advertised. It was brutal and physical but both teams shot much better than anticipated. How about Pitt shooting 56 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3 and losing? … What Ronald Nored does for Butler will never show up adequately in the boxscore. The point guard never looks to score but instead runs his offense flawlessly. Nored finished with three assists, but he’s the kind of guy you need to give out hockey assists.
What’s next: Cinderella lives again as Butler advances to the Sweet 16 against the winner of the Kansas State-Wisconsin game in New Orleans. The Panthers' run of bad luck in March ends in the worst possible and most painful way.