Butler Basketball: Bulldogs edge No. 8 Arizona to win Las Vegas Invitational
Chris Holtmann and Butler basketball pulled of a enormous upset victory over the Arizona Wildcats in Vegas.
Black Friday is always known as the national retail holiday, but when it comes to college hoops, it’s the day top 25 teams fall to unranked teams in preseason tournaments.
Butler beating 8th ranked Arizona, 69-65, in the Las Vegas Invitational championship was one game that complete a day of intriguing upsets.
Kelan Martin scored 16 points and Andrew Chrabascz added 14 to lead the Bulldogs. Butler was in a very tight contest throughout the game against a young and athletic Arizona squad. But in the second half, Butler started to pull away from the Wildcats when they went on a 9-0 run to take a 49-40 lead with 13:55 remaining in the game.
Arizona would come roaring right back though, outscoring Butler 21-8 to take a 61-57 lead with 3:25 remaining in the game.
With both teams in deep foul trouble and the Wildcats gaining so much momentum, the pressure was on Butler to show what they were made of. And they did just that by completing the game with their own answer.
One key play that sealed the victory for Butler: With 30 seconds remaining, Martin dished it to Tyler Wideman for a powerful 2-handed slam to put them up 65-63.
Kelan Martin had 6 TOs in the game but man did he make the perfect read here. Wideman with the AND ONE for the W! https://t.co/bdPY6zYUme
— Kim Adams (@Kim_Adams1) November 26, 2016
Butler also made key free throws down the stretch, helping them hold off Arizona for their first signature win of the season. It was the Bulldogs’ first ever win against Arizona.
This win is also big for the Big East Conference, which will help the Bulldogs and the league in general in the RPI ratings.
As for the Wildcats, this was one game where their inexperience showed. Sean Miller needs Allonzo Trier back. It’s rather evident that they will struggle if they don’t get their leader back in the fold.
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