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Butler upsets #8 Arizona for Las Vegas Invitational title

Late game heroics by the whole Butler squad gave them the W.

Joshua Dahl-USA Today

We all knew this game was going to be back-and-forth. Butler opened up to be a one or two point favorite, depending on what oddsmakers you listened to. It was going to be a close game. We didn’t know it was going to be this back-and-forth.

Bulldogs ended the first half on a beautiful assist from Tyler Lewis to Sean McDermott. They looked really solid in the first half, aside from all the Kelan Martin turnovers. Woodson was splashing threes left and right. This game looked like it was going in Butler’s direction.

And it was, continuing into the second half. Butler was able to get a lead to as many as nine points. Everything was going the Bulldogs way. Then Arizona woke up and game back. The Wildcats were able to keep a four point lead going into the under four minute timeout. Everything was going the Wildcats way. Until it wasn’t.

Butler was able to win the game after all of the momentum was sucked out of Arizona by a monster dunk by the Big Cat (aka Tyler Wideman) who also drew the foul and rattled that free throw home.

Butler has officially defeated a Top 10 team and is still undefeated on the season. They might be for real again this year.

Three things we learned

AP and USA Today, where’s my ranking at?

The Dawgs at this point deserve to be ranked. They and Seton Hall both deserved to be ranked two weeks ago. But they will settle for this week after knocking off a Top 10 team. It will be somewhere in the 20s (bold prediction says #23), but it still counts.

The D was still shaky at best

Bulldogs had a lot of situations late in the game where the defense broke down and allowed Arizona to drive right through the lane to the basket. The Dawg defense needs to continue to tighten up and straighten itself out before conference play and even before that big matchup against Indiana next month.

Kamar Baldwin is NO JOKE, PEOPLE

This freshman is an absolute stud. When he’s not creating something on offense, he’s making something happen on defense. Baldwin ended the night with 11 points, three rebounds and two steals for a solid all around performance. He is going to continue to learn, grow and get better as the season progresses.