Underdog Butler Gains Final Four

West Regional No. 5 seed topples K-State, will play 5 miles from campus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2010 6:08 PM CDT
Underdog Butler Gains Final Four
Members of the Butler band cheer prior to the Bulldogs' victory in the West Regional final over Kansas State in Salt Lake City, March 27, 2010. With the win, Butler advances to the Final Four.   (Colin E. Braley)

Butler has earned a trip home for the Final Four. Gordon Hayward made a driving layup with under a minute to go, and the fifth-seeded Bulldogs used the same tenacious defense they exhibited all game in the closing seconds to knock off second-seeded Kansas State , 63-56, in the West Regional final today in Salt Lake City. Hayward finished with 22 points to lead Butler (32-4), which won its 24th straight and will play Michigan State or Tennessee next weekend.

The Bulldogs head to the Final Four in Indianapolis, only 5 miles from their campus, where parts of the underdog classic Hoosiers were filmed. Butler advanced by stifling K-State stars Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen all game. Clemente finished with 18 points, all but two in the second half, but missed a critical free throw in the closing seconds. Pullen was just 3 of 12 from the field and turned the ball over twice with the Wildcats behind by four and under 30 seconds left. (More NCAA men's basketball tournament stories.)

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