Vander Blue leads Marquette in back-and-forth second round game
Only Marquette could win a game this dramatic in this Tournament. Only Butler could make the final five seconds this heart-pounding.
Two days after Marquette’s Vander Blue ended a two-Tournament drought of game-winning and game-tying shots in the final 10 seconds with his layup against Davidson, Marquette again had a flair for the dramatic in a 74-72 win in the round of 32.
Butler and Marquette played the game of the Tournament so far, a game that was separated by four points or fewer for most of the second half. Butler, who used a steal of an inbounds play to beat Gonzaga earlier this season, had a chance to win despite trailing by four in the final four seconds thanks to another fortunate inbounds play that bounced of the hands of a Marquette player. The turnover set up an ill-fated Andrew Smith three-point attempt to seal Marquette's win.
The two teams traded scores for most of the day, but Marquette sealed the win for a remarkable run in Milwaukee. The only Big East team to reach the NCAA Tournament every year since expanded now has three consecutive Sweet 16s.
And Vander Blue, with 29 points against Butler and 16 against Davidson, may be the MVP of the opening weekend.