12:40 PM ET, March 21, 2013
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The cast of characters has changed.Butler's character has not.Rotnei Clarke scored 11 of his 17 points in the last 8:44, Andrew Smith had a double-double with a career-high 16 rebounds and 14 points and Butler withstood a late rally from upset-minded Bucknell for a 68-56 victory in the NCAA tournament on Thursday. Roosevelt Jones added 14 points for the sixth-seeded Bulldogs, who watched an 11-point lead turn into a six-point deficit before regaining control of the game for good.
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No longer are they the cute underdog from Indianapolis. Instead, Butler is comfortable with its new role as the favorite, Andy Katz writes. Blog
NCAA Mens Tournament
LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 21: Alex Barlow #3 of the Butler Bulldogs shoots against Cameron Ayers #42 of the Bucknell...(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Around Champ Week
MVP: Bucknell's Joe Willman. Yes, his team lost, but he was the best player on the floor for 40 minutes. He scored 20 points, and his perimeter shooting brought the Bison back in the game. He was the toughest matchup for Butler. Had he not had this type of game, Bucknell wouldn't have been able to make it close. So much was made of Mike Muscala, but it was Willman who was the hardest player to guard.
X factor: Butler's Rotnei Clarke. He scored 17 but was an enigma throughout the game. He was just chucking it in the first half but found his stroke in the second. That was enough to carry Butler when it needed big buckets late.
That was ... ugly: The Bison got back into it in the second half but went almost five minutes without scoring. Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field, including a combined 8-for-33 on 3s.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||23-62 (.371)||20-55 (.364)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-16 (.313)||3-17 (.176)|
|FT Made-Attempted||5-8 (.625)||25-28 (.893)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|
|» Mar 21, 2013||@BUT 68, BUCK 56||Recap|
Butler outscored Bucknell 37-19 in the final ten minutes Thursday and the Bulldogs were finally able to make some outside shots. Butler missed its first 13 3-point field goals but was 3-for-4 from 3-point range to close out the game, with Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith combining to score 11 of Butler's final 13 points outside the paint.[+]
Butler Outside the Paint
ESPN Stats & Information