After a tight first half that ended with Butler leading 30-28, the ninth-seeded Bulldogs slowly pulled away from No. 8 Texas Tech in the second half en route to a 71–61 win in the Midwest Regional. Butler senior guard Kellen Dunham led all scorers with 23 points, including 5 of 9 shooting from beyond the three-point line, while sophomore forward Kelan Martin had 11 points on 2 of 4 from deep. Red Raiders senior guard Devaugntah Williams led his team with 18 points off the bench.
Why it matters
Butler, which reached the national championship game in 2010 and '11 as a No. 5 and a No. 8 seed, respectively, showed signs that it could be headed for another March run on Friday. The Bulldogs have relied on their 17th-ranked offense for much of the season, and it was their key to victory in this one. If Dunham and the Bulldogs are shooting threes like they did against the Red Raiders—9 of 17 (52.9%) on the game—they’ll be a difficult matchup for any team that crosses their path.
On Saturday in Raleigh, Butler will face the winner of No. 1 seed Virginia vs. No. 16 Hampton. No doubt the Bulldogs should expect to face the Cavaliers and their No. 4 ranked defense.