Pitt Upset By Butler 71-70 In Wild Finish

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.

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  • Cleetus

    Number 1 seed not making it to at least the sweet 16???

    Looks like the NCAA basketball rankings are about as reliable and accurate as the BCS rankings!

  • ken

    I don.t know why the Pitt players were attempting to rebound the basketball after the missed shot. They should have been downcourt attempting to block any last second shot. GO BUTTLER> KEEP THE STRING GOING> Sorry Pitt.

    • Ryan

      Because it was tied and Bultler had no timeouts. A tip would win and avoid overtime. But there is no reason to foul a guy to prevent a full court shot.

  • Brad

    Nazr Robinson should be beaten.. How dumb do you have to be to foul someone at the other end of the court with his back to the hoop, with less than a second left.? Any guesses? I’m insulted he went to Pitt, a university that prides itself in education, shouldn’t let someone as mind numbingly stupid as nazr robinson. Absolutely the single most dumb thing I have ever seen in a sporting event

    • Choke on it Pitt

      Amen Brad.. and that after a shot clock violation.

  • stoopm

    This is a soft team! No way should a 1 seed lose to an 8 seed. It might be time to take a close look at Mr. Dixon. He doesn’t seem to have the abilty to raise his teams to the next level. Go Blue!

  • Don

    Pathetic!!! Once again!!! Next time, show up in the first half. Early exit AGAIN!!! That is why we do not land top recruits! Good players, yes, but TOP recruits, no!

  • Does Dixon get it?

    Let’s look at facts in the tournament in thelast 2 years of Howland and the 8 of Dixon era.
    HOWLAND–DIXON As an assistant:
    02- A 3 seed, upset by the 10 seed Kent State
    03- A 2 seed, upset by the 3 seed Marquette
    DIXON era:
    04- A 3 seed, loss to # 2 Oklahoma State
    05- A 9 seed, unremarkable season– 1st round loss to Pacific
    06- A 5 seed, upset by # 13 Bradley
    07- A 3 seed, loss to # 2 UCLA
    08- A 4 seed, upset by #5 Michigan State
    09- A 1 seed, upset by # 3 Villanova
    10- A 3 seed, upset by #6 Xavier
    11- A 1 seed, upset by # 8 Butler

    Several things about this are evident. Pitt is built for a run in the (Not so) Big East. This team does not have the mettle in the NCAA tournament. Maybe Jamie doesn’t truly understand that this program is at the point where only March matters. I dont care about Big East Regular Season Championship Banners. Also, the notable upsets are against teams from Mid Major conferences…so when Jamie says he schedules competetively in non-conference, maybe he needs to schedule more against these conferences teams that he unfortunately frequently loses to in March!

  • Scott

    Jamie Dixon is a horrible tournament coach. He has know idea how to make adjustments late in a game. His tournament record does not lie.

    • Double M

      Did Jamie not make a few adjustments at the half, and bring his team back from a twelve point deficit to take the lead?????

  • Wel Hung


  • Coaching Change

    Sean Miller

  • Ryan

    Took Jim Calhoun 13 year to win a championship. You Pitt fans need to relax. It’s very tough to win the Tournament.

    • no way

      Calhoun cheated to get there. Eventually got caught

      • Mike

        Once again Dixon going home, Calhoun moving on.

    • stoopm

      Then maybe Pitt fans shouldn’t talk about what an easy region this was supposed to be.

  • gary

    Why was every coach on the bench NOT telling every Pitt player on the floor: NO FOULS!!!???? Further more…why are they even in the lane? What are you trying to accomplish hacking with 1 second left?????????

  • Realist

    Who cares! Bunch of chokers. Basketball sucks anyway.

  • Corey Taggart

    Love it pitt blows.

  • mark madden

    Wow – you people are idiots blaming this on coaching. I’m no coach, but I can guarantee that coach Dixon was not telling pea-brain robinson to hack somebody.

  • Don

    Forget about all the final second dramatics. I give Pitt credit for the game they played last night. If these teams met 10 times, Pitt wins 9 of them. That Butler team on the court last night would have beat any team in the tourney including Ohio State and Kansas. Nobody plays that well and shoots that well every game. The simple fact that Pitt had a chance at the end is a credit to how good Pitt really is cause anybody else loses by 20.

    • pkjuke

      You are so right — No team would have easily beat the Butler team of last night. They were magic.

    • Math Wiz

      Well, so far they’re 0 for 1.

  • PK Juke

    Don’t blame Brown or Robinson. The loss is on the entire team. They never should have been down by 12 at any point in the game. If you call for a coaching change, you are indeed, an ignorant college basketball fan. ANY school would love to have Dixon — one of the top coaches on the game, and a class act. Butler played the game of theirs lives, and their coach is another great young coach who is also a classy guy. It hurts and it is a sore point for all — team, school, fans, but we will win it all, soon.

  • Wel Hung


  • pitt fan

    no reason whatsoever to leave guys in the lane after the first made shot. You either win the game on the second shot or you go into overtime. That’s coaching! The kids are young and make silly mistakes that’s why the coach has to get them out of there.

  • Bill

    Jamie i really feel sorry for you . The reason why you work for Steve use car salesman Pederson. If you see him coming to your office run,cause you know what is happin. I hate to say it you are done he is already looking for a new coach.

  • pitt fan

    Why is Steve Pederson still employed? Why did all the angry Pitt fans just let him off the hook after Graham was hired? He has to be terminated!

  • http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/03/22/sporting-news-names-dixon-national-coach-of-the-year/ Sporting News Names Dixon National Coach Of The Year « CBS Pittsburgh

    […] Pitt’s early exit from the NCAA Tournament after a 71-70 loss to Butler, Dixon led the Panthers (28-6) to the Big East Conference regular season […]

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