More Madness: Butler stuns Florida

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:56 PM ET

TORONTO - Against all odds, Butler is returning to the Final Four.

Element of surprise gone? No matter.

Best player by a mile, Gordon Hayward lost to the NBA? No problem.

Tiny Butler still has head coach Brad Stevens merely 116-24 in his four-year coaching career with the team following Butlerís stunning 74-71 overtime victory over Florida on Saturday in New Orleans.

The No. 8 seeds will now have a chance to avenge their championship game loss to Duke last year that came down to a buzzer-beating miss by Hayward, now a member of the Utah Jazz.

Gators star Erving Walker struggled in a 1-for-10 from the field performance missing a deep shot at the end of regulation and hitting back rim on a three-point shot late in overtime on his 10th attempt. Butler got the rebound and the celebration was on.

Butler trailed by 11 in the second half but would not quit against second-seeded Florida.

Shelvin Mack continued his fantastic tournament, leading Butler with 27 points. Vernon Macklin had 25 for Florida.

Florida used its size advantage to build a lead early, but Butler fought back throughout the fiercely battled contest.

Gators coach Billy Donovan lost for the first time in four tries in the Elite Eight and Florida lost for the first time in five appearances at this stage overall.

The Final Four wonít be at home in Indianapolis again for the Bulldogs, but they surely will have the crowd on their side in Houston nevertheless.

Stevens will be sorting through top shelf job offers no matter how this tournament ends for Butler.


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