Read more at our Kansas State blog, Bring On The Cats.
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Gordon Hayward scored six of his 22 points in the final minutes to counter a furious Kansas State comeback that swung momentum and the lead, as Butler sealed a trip to the Final Four with a 63-56 victory in the West Regional final of the NCAA Tournament.
Shelvin Mack scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Matt Howard chipped in eight points for the fifth-seeded Bulldogs (32-4), who are not only on their longest run into the NCAAs but also as a representative of the Horizon League.
Butler now heads to Indianapolis next Saturday, essentially in its own back yard, to take on either Michigan State or Tennessee in the Final Four. The Bulldogs boast the nation's longest winning streak at 24 games, having last tasted defeat in December against UAB.
Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen combined for two points in the first half, but recovered to help erase a double-digit deficit and gain a 52-51 lead with under five minutes to play.
Curtis Kelly added 14 points, five boards and three blocks for the second- seeded Wildcats (29-8), who got by Xavier in a double-overtime thriller on Thursday for their first Elite Eight appearance since 1988.