The rematch between Butler and Marquette lived up to the billing, with the game once again coming down to the final possession. The Golden Eagles survived a wild finish against the Bulldogs despite nearly coughing up a four point lead in the final four seconds. Butler’s last few possessions were very uncharacteristic for a team coached by Brad Stevens.
With under 10 seconds to play, senior Rotnei Clarke air-balled a 3-point attempt with the Bulldogs trailing by two, 72-70, seemingly giving the Golden Eagles a chance to seal the deal at the free throw stripe. Marquette’s Davante Gardner made both shots, making it a two possession game. But it wasn’t over.
With Marquette leading 74-70, Butler’s Emerson Kampen threw a baseball pass the length of the court to Andrew Smith, who was able to score (on a goaltending call) to cut the lead to two. On the ensuing inbounds play, Marquette’s Vander Blue turned the ball over, giving the Bulldogs one last chance at a win. But it wasn’t to be, as Butler’s center, Andrew Smith, lost his balance and threw a wild shot off the backboard as time expired.