WASHINGTON, D.C. (KDKA/AP) — The Butler Bulldogs needed a last-second tip-in to advance in their opening game of the tournament over Old Dominion. On Saturday, a foul in a tie game put them at the free throw line with under one second to play.
Matt Howard made one free throw with 0.8 seconds left to cap a wild final sequence, as Butler shocked the top-seeded Panthers 71-70 to advance to the Sweet 16.
Each team had a chance to win it from the foul line in the last two seconds.
After Butler’s Shelvin Mack inexplicably fouled Gilbert Brown near midcourt with 1.4 seconds left, Brown made the first try to tie it.
Brown missed the second shot. Howard grabbed the rebound and attempted to throw the ball away to run out the rest of the clock. However, he was fouled by Nasir Robinson, which proved to be a foul even more unnecessary than the one that preceded it.
Howard made the first shot, then intentionally missed the second one to send the first No. 1 seed packing in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Brown finished with 24 points, but he will forever remember the missed free throw.
Mack scored 30 for Butler (25-9), which used a string of upsets to reach the championship game last year. Butler has won 11 straight overall and is 7-1 in its last eight NCAA Tournament games.
The 30 points were two short of Mack’s career high and a Butler tournament record. He went 10 for 16, including 7 for 12 from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs will now face Wisconsin in the Southeast Regional semifinals. Wisconsin knocked off Kansas State 70-65.
Pittsburgh (28-6), the Big East regular-season champion, trailed by 12 in the first half and blew a five-point lead in the second.
The Panthers also had a shot-clock violation with 10 seconds left, which led to a go-ahead layup by Butler’s Andrew Smith. Mack followed with his foul on Brown, but the Bulldogs survived the error.
Pittsburgh trailed 41-32 before Brown drilled a 3-pointer, Brad Wanamaker made a layup and Robinson sank two straight layups to tie it with 15:24 left.
After a timeout, Wanamaker hit a jumper to cap the 11-0 run and give the Panthers their first lead since 4-2.
Soon after that, Pittsburgh reeled off seven straight points to go up 53-48.
To no one’s surprise, Butler wouldn’t go away.
Mack scored 16 points in the first half, sinking four 3-pointers, and the Bulldogs committed only two turnovers to take a 38-30 lead at the break.