Marquette holds on to down Butler in NCAA third round

10:05 PM, Mar 23, 2013   |    comments
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Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Two wins by a combined three points has Marquette in the Sweet 16

It's just the way the scrappy and resilient third-seeded Golden Eagles like it.

Vander Blue netted 29 points, including a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game late, and Jamil Wilson sunk two go-ahead free throws with 47.7 seconds remaining to lift Marquette (25-8) to a 74-72 win over sixth-seeded Butler in the third round of the NCAA Tournament between two future foes in the new Big East Conference.

With his team down by two in a back-and-forth tussle down the stretch, Rotnei Clarke, who had 18 of his 24 points in the first half and nailed a game- winning trey at the buzzer against Marquette in the Maui Invitational earlier in November, airballed a long pull-up 3-point attempt from the left wing with 5.5 ticks on the clock.

Davante Gardner hit two free throws to up the Marquette advantage to 74-70 with 4.7 seconds remaining, but a fantastic inbounds pass by Emerson Kampen led to a quick Andrew Smith layup to keep Butler (28-9) in the game with 3.2 seconds on the clock.

Blue floated the ensuing inbounds pass a bit too far along the right sideline and off the fingertips of Wilson to give the ball right back to the Bulldogs. Smith's desperation trey at the buzzer ricocheted sharply off the glass to allow the Golden Eagles to advance to their third straight Sweet 16.

The Golden Eagles will play the winner of Sunday's matchup between Miami and Illinois, on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

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