It had to be a moment of sweet satisfaction for Butler head coach Brad Stevens.
Having turned down numerous high-major coaching offers over each of the past few offseasons, Stevens has continued to make Butler a national power of the mid-major variety, similar to the work of the head coach opposing him on the sidelines on Saturday night.
Gonzaga and head coach Mark Few strolled into Hinkle Fieldhouse for the weekend’s featured contest, a crowning moment for both head coaches.
As if it couldn’t have been scripted any better, a crazy ending that forced pandemonium in Hinkle propelled Butler past Gonzaga in what now can be perceived as just another statement victory for the Bulldogs.
Under the guidance of Stevens, magic has become a common theme for Butler and its fans. Let’s start at the beginning.
We must first go back to November and Butler’s trip to the island of Maui. The tournament kicked off with a bang when Butler guard Rotnei Clarke hit a fall away game-winner to knock off Marquette.
Take a look at the video below:
Now, fast forward to Saturday. College GameDay was in town and it quickly became evident that there was magic in the air. A Butler student ended a four-year drought by burying the State Farm Half Court Shot contest just prior to noontime during the show’s morning airing.
Take a look at his video below:
Now go back and look at Clarke’s buzzer beater. Although it has blurry in this YouTube clip, there is a man behind the bench screaming as Clarke buried the game-winner. It’s none other than the same student who hit the half court heave on Saturday afternoon.
Ironic enough? No? Well, hours after winning $18,000 on national television, the student was obviously in the house for Butler’s thrilling victory over Gonzaga.
And sure enough it came down to another buzzer beater, this time by Bulldogs’ guard Roosevelt Jones.
Enjoy the clip and final few seconds as Butler defeated Gonzaga on Saturday night:
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS