WASHINGTON — With plenty of help from Pittsburgh, Butler found another way to pull off a stunning upset in the NCAA tournament.
Matt Howard made one free throw with 0.8 seconds left to cap a wild final sequence, and Butler shocked the top-seeded Panthers 71-70 Saturday night to advance to the round of 16.
Each team had a chance to win it from the foul line in the last 2 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.
He missed the second, and Howard was fouled by Nasir Robinson while grabbing the rebound — a foul even more unnecessary than the one that preceded it.
Howard made the first shot, then intentionally banged the second attempt off the rim.
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 next face either Kansas State or Wisconsin in the Southeast regional semifinals.
•Florida 73, UCLA 65
TAMPA, Fla. — Florida’s smallest player carried the team to its biggest win of the season.
Erving Walker, generously listed at 5 feet, 8 inches, scored 21 points and hit several clutch shots down the stretch as the Gators beat UCLA.
Walker scored 10 of Florida’s final 12 points, including four free throws in the final 33 seconds. His most significant basket was a 3-pointer with just over minute remaining. That shot gave the second-seeded Gators (28-7) a 69-65 lead and forced the No. 7 seed Bruins (23-11) into desperation mode.
UCLA wasted several chances from the free-throw line, much like it did Thursday against Michigan State. The Bruins survived that one. They had no such luck against Florida, which advanced to the round of 16 in the Southeast region. The Gators will play either BYU or Gonzaga next week in New Orleans.
Kenny Boynton added 12 points and five assists for Florida. Alex Tyus chipped in eight points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
Josh Smith and Reeves Nelson led UCLA with 16 points apiece.
The Bruins kept it close throughout by pounding the boards and getting Florida in foul trouble.
•BYU 89, Gonzaga 67
DENVER — Look out Big Easy. Here comes The Jimmer.
Jimmer Fredette scored 34 points Saturday to lift third-seeded Brigham Young to a victory over 11th-seeded Gonzaga and send the Cougars to New Orleans for the regional semifinals.
It will be BYU’s deepest trip in the NCAA tournament since 1981, the year Danny Ainge went coast to coast against Notre Dame for a last-second game-winner — a play that still holds a special place in BYU’s rich sports history.
Fredette has a few dozen of his own clips on that highlight reel with a chance to add some more next Thursday against Florida, a 73-65 winner over UCLA on the other side of the Southeast regional.
In this game, the hoop must have seemed as wide as the Mississippi for the nation’s leading scorer.
He shot 7 for 12 from 3-point range, and after having trouble getting shots over Gonzaga’s tough defense in the first half, he found his rhythm in the second.
He opened the half by pulling up from 5 feet beyond the upper-right part of the 3-point arc and swishing the shot. That triggered an 11-2 run that put BYU up 56-40.
Gonzaga pulled within eight, but with 8:58 left, Fredette made a shot from the exact same spot as part of a 12-0 run that expanded the lead to 20.
Game over, and the rest was simply a matter of seeing where No. 32’s scoring line would settle.
•Wisconsin 70, Kansas State 65
TUCSON, Ariz. — Jordan Taylor hit two big free throws and blocked Jacob Pullen’s 3-point attempt in the closing seconds to overcome a rough shooting night, lifting Wisconsin to a win over Kansas State.
Taylor shot just 2 of 16 but came up with the biggest play of the game, swatting Pullen’s tying attempt in the final seconds with Wisconsin (25-8) up three. Josh Gasser then hit two free throws to seal it, sending the fourth-seeded Badgers into the round of 16 for the fourth time since 2000.
Wisconsin moves on to face upset specialist Butler, a winner over top-seeded Pittsburgh, in the Southeast regional semifinals Thursday in New Orleans.
Pullen matched a career high with 38 points to break the school’s career scoring mark, but walked away wiping tears with his jersey after a stellar four years in the Little Apple.