Butler Vs. VCU was a tight game throughout in the first 2011 Final Four contest of the night, and tight games are where Butler shines. The Bulldogs just made more plays down the stretch, holding off VCU and advancing to its second straight NCAA championship game with a 70-62 victory.
Matt Howard was the man who made the big plays for the Bulldogs late. Jamie Skeen hit a three-pointer to cut Butler's lead to 61-57, but then Howard took over. He slipped in for the offensive rebound and putback to give the Bulldogs a 63-57 lead, then stoned Darius Theus at the rim with under a minute remaining, grabbing the rebound and essentially ending the game. Butler padded its lead with free throws at the end, meaning the final score was not indicative of how close the game was.
Shelvin Mack had 23 points to lead Butler, while Howard added 17. Skeen led all scorers with 27 points, playing his heart out in defeat.