Matt Howard's Buzzer Beater Gives Butler 60-58 Win Over Old Dominion

Old Dominion's season is over. Matt Howard hit a buzzer beater to give No. 8 seed Butler a thrilling 60-58 win over the No. 9 seeded Monarchs.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: Matt Howard's Buzzer Beater Carries Butler Over Old Dominion, 60-58

We have our first buzzer beater of March Madness. Matt Howard scored on a layup off a scramble to give No. 8 seed Butler a thrilling 60-58 win over No. 9 seed Old Dominion in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

The Bulldogs spread the floor and let the clock run down with 30 seconds left after Kent Bazemore missed two free throws. The ball went in the air after a scramble, and Howard was in the right place at the right time to secure the rebound and hit the layup. 

Howard and Shelvin Mack had 15 points apiece to lead Butler, while Frank Hassell had 20 to lead all scorers for Old Dominion. The Monarchs' season therefore is over, after having won the CAA Tournament championship. Butler moves on to face the winner of the Pittsburgh vs. UNC-Asheville game, to be played at 3:10 p.m. in Washington D.C.

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2011 NCAA Tournament, Butler Vs. Old Dominion: Monarchs Leads, 29-27, At Haltime

The first half of the 2011 NCAA Tournament game between No. 8 seed Butler and No. 9 seed Old Dominion hasn't always been pretty, but that's hardly a surprise. At the end of 20 minutes, Old Dominion leads Butler, 29-27. The lead has changed hands 12 times. 

The Monarchs are shooting the ball well from the field and are doing well on the glass, but have shot themselves in the foot with 11 turnovers. Butler, meanwhile, is shooting relatively poorly, but has gotten a big performance out of guard Shelvin Mack, who has 11 points on 4-8 shooting. Besides Mack, the rest of the Bulldogs are shooting a combined 7-21 from the field.

Old Dominion jumped ahead early, but the Bulldogs rallied midway through the first half, and the game has been tight ever since. The winner takes on the winner of the game later Thursday between No. 1 seed Pittsburgh and No. 16 seed UNC-Asheville. 

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2011 NCAA Tournament Schedule And Announcers: Old Dominion Vs. Butler To Play Thursday At 12:40 P.M.

Old Dominion will begin its 2011 NCAA Tournament run against No. 8 seed Butler Thursday at 12:40 p.m. The NCAA Tournament schedule is now out, and the Monarchs will be in one of the first games of the day.

The game will be broadcasted on TruTV and will take place in Washington D.C. Tim Brando and Mike Gminski will have the call.

Old Dominion reached the field by winning the Colonial Athletic Association championship game last Monday. The Monarchs will square off against a Butler team that went all the way to the NCAA final last year before falling to Duke in the final seconds. The Bulldogs started off slowly this year, but rallied late and eventually won the Horizon League championship. 

The winner will play either No. 1 seed Pittsburgh or the winner between UNC-Asheville and Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday. In other words, the winner will play No. 1 seed Pittsburgh.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: Old Dominion Sizing Glass Slippers, Plays Butler, Last Year's Cinderella

Old Dominion hopes to steal Cinderella's slipper from last-year's mid-major darlings, as the 9th-seeded Monarchs drew the 8-seeded Butler Bulldogs in a first-round Southeast Region matchup in Washington, DC in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.  ODU qualified as the champions of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, while Butler overcame a slow start to win the Horizon League tournament.

 

The Bulldogs, who came within inches of knocking off Duke in last year's NCAA Tournament championship game, struggled in out of conference play.  Coach Brad Stevens' squad fell to national powers Louisville and Duke, but also stumbled against Evansville and Xavier.  Butler took some time to get warmed up in Horizon League play, as well, beginning conference action 5-5 before running off nine consecutive wins, earning the Horizon's autobid with a 59-44 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the title game.

The media angle will clearly be the battle between ODU's rugged Frank Hassell and Butler's talented big man, Matt Howard.  Butler's 6'8", 230-pound senior averaged 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.  While the Godzilla/King Kong interior matchup will generate headlines, the ability of ODU's perimeter players to handle Butler's Shelvin Mack and a balanced bunch of contributors is critical to their ability to move on.  Kent Bazemore will be a key for the Monarchs. Both squads are terrific defensive rebounders, but the Monarchs' tenacity on the offensive boards may be the telling difference.

The winner of this contest will likely take on second-seeded Pittsburgh in the second round.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: Old Dominion Receives __ Seed, Will Play __ In First Round

The Old Dominion Monarchs have received a No. 9 seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament bracket was just revealed on the Selection Sunday show on CBS, and the Monarchs will be in the Southeast region. The CAA Tournament champions will play Butler in the first round in Washington, DC.

Coach Blaine Taylor's squad finished with a 26-6 record, notching out of conference wins against Clemson, Xavier, and Richmond before going 14-4 in CAA play and topping Virginia Commonwealth, 70-65, in the CAA Tournament final.  The Monarchs topped the final Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll, receiving 25 of 31 first-place votes.

Senior power forward Frank Hassell was named All-CAA and received MVP honors in the CAA Tournament, scoring 22.7 points per game in ODU's three wins.  Hassell earned Honorable Mention All-American nods from several national publications.The 6'9", 255-pounder from Chesapeake, VA averaged a team-leading 15.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game during the season.

This is ODU's second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.  Keyon Carter hit a pair of free throws with 9.6 seconds left to help the Monarchs top Notre Dame, 51-50, in last year's first round.  ODU's physical defense held Irish star Luke Harangody scoreless until 12 seconds remained on the game clock.  The Monarchs fell in the second round to Baylor.  

Expect this year's squad to make more than a few lists of Sweet Sixteen sleepers.  And Blaine Taylor's mustache is 2-1 to win Most Outstanding Player.  Remember where you heard it first.

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