It was all Butler in the Horizon Tournament finals as the Bulldogs rolled to a 59-44 win over UW-Milwaukee to take home the league's automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Butler took a 13-point lead into halftime, but saw most of it evaporate as Milwaukee put together a strong run to begin the second half. After narrowing the deficit to just four, holding Butler to just three points over the first four minutes of the half, Milwaukee ran out of gas as the Bulldogs prevailed.
It was the usual suspects in charge for Butler. Matt Howard led the way with 18 points, followed by Shelvin Mack's 14 points. The two were the only Bulldogs in double-figures as defense dominated the game. Shawn Vanzant added eight points for Butler, with Chase Stigall and Andrew Smith each adding six. Smith also had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Anthony Hill, Tone Boyle and Tony Mejer scored 10 points apiece for Milwaukee in the loss, with Ryan Allen adding eight off the bench. Outside of those four, though, scoring was few and far between for the Panthers, with two other players combining for just six points. Hill had a team-high eight rebounds, with Kaylon Williams and Boyle each adding five.
Butler is back in the NCAA Tournament with the win while Milwaukee is NIT-bound as regular season co-champions in the Horizon League.
For more on the bracket and March Madness, check out SB Nation's Blogging The Bracket.