Butler, San Diego State and Richmond are three of the eight teams that advanced to the Sweet 16 during the third round of play in the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Saturday. Kentucky, Florida, BYU, Connecticut and Wisconsin round out the group of winners on Saturday.
The most notable of the group is No. 8 seed Butler, which upset No. 1 seed Pittsburgh, 71-70, on a late foul. Matt Howard made a pair of free throws to put Butler up by one with eight tenths of a second remaining to seal the upset victory. Howard finished with 16 points and six rebounds and Shelvin Mack scored a game-high 30 points for Butler (25-9). Gilbert Brown scored 24 points to lead Pittsburgh (28-6), which despite the loss shot 56.5% from the floor.
In other tournament action, No. 2 seed San Diego State survived a scare against No. 7 seed Temple, winning 71-64 in double overtime to keep its title hopes alive. The Aztecs had four players score in double-digits, with Kawhi Leonard and Billy White (13 rebounds) leading the way with 16 points a piece. Malcolm Thomas had 13 points and nine rebounds and Chase Tapley added 12 points for San Diego State (34-2). Ramone Moore scored 17 points to lead the way for the Owls (26-8).
No. 12 seed Richmond took care of business against No. 13 seed Morehead State, winning 65-48. Justin Harper scored 19 points to lead the Spiders (29-7), who led 30-21 at halftime and outscored the Eagles, 35-27, in the second half. Kenneth Faried amassed 11 points and 13 rebounds in the losing effort for Morehead State (25-10).
In Tampa, FL, No. 4 seed Kentucky overpowered No. 5 seed West Virginia, 71-63. Brandon Knight scored 30 points to lead the Wildcats (27-8) one step close to a national title. Joe Mazzula finished with 20 points and four assists for the Mountaineers (21-12).
No. 2 seed Florida was carried by Erving Walker's 21-point performance en route to a 73-65 win over No. 7 seed UCLA. Kenny Boynton scored 12 and Alex Tyus had eight points and 13 rebounds for the Gators (28-7). The Bruins (23-11) had four players scored in double-digits and were led by Reeves Nelson (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Joshua Smith (16 points, six rebounds).
Jimmer Fredette scored 34 points to help No. 3 seed BYU post an 89-67 win over No. 11 seed Gonzaga. Fredette also fished out six assists for the Cougars (32-4). Elias Harris and Steven Gray both scored 18 for the Bulldogs (25-10).
No. 4 seed Wisconsin outmatched No. 5 seed Kansas State, 70-65, behind a 19-point, seven-rebound performance from Jon Leuer. Jacob Pullen had an outstanding game in his final game with the Wildcats (23-11), scoring 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting. Jordan Taylor added 12 points and six assists for Wisconsin (25-8).
In the final game of the evening, No. 3 seed Connecticut coasted to a 69-58 win over No. 6 seed Cincinnati. Kemba Walker scored 33 points to lead all scorers for UConn (34-9). Rashad Bishop scored 22 for the Bearcats (26-9).