With 7 minutes to go, it looked like it was going to be a happy Senior Day for Butler's six seniors. That was before Seton Hall closed the game on a 23-7 run to upset #13 Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Delgado had 20 points and 16 boards while Desi Rodriguiez has 21 points to lead Seton Hall. Butler was led by Kelan Martin with 19 points.
Player of the Game: Kelan Martin
Butler's best player was without a doubt Kelan Martin. It's looking more and more like he is back for good. The junior star continued his string of impressive outings by scoring 19 points on 7-15 shooting. Just as importantly he had 0 turnovers this afternoon. He didn't have enough help tonight, but that won't be the norm. Butler is going to do big things the rest of the month if they get this type of play offensively from Kelan Martin.
Tale of Two Halves on the Boards
Seton Hall is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, thanks in large part to the dominance of Angel Delgado. Butler beat them on the boards in the 1st half, grabbing 4 offensive rebounds and holding Seton Hall to only 2. That fell apart at the end of the game, as the Pirates had 8 offensive rebounds in the second half. Seton Hall took the rebounding battle 35-24 for the game despite that first half effort from the Bulldogs.
No Breaks Down the Stretch
To storm back like Seton Hall did you usually have to get a few breaks, and that's exactly what happened. Butler fans will certainly point to 3 offensive fouls that didn't get called, but the backbreaker came in the final minute. With Butler down 1, Kamar Baldwin got a deflection late in the shot clock. Unfortunately that deflection went straight to Seton Hall, and Myles Powell ended up burying an uncontested 3 pointer to extend the lead to 2 possessions with 30 seconds to play.
Avery Woodson continued his hot shooting from deep, hitting 3-4 from downtown and scoring 13 points. The other seniors didn't quite have the same touch tonight. Lewis, Chrabascz, and Savage shot a combined 5-18 from the field. Savage (-23) and Charabascz (-16) were a combined -39 in +/- on the afternoon. This certainly isn't how the Butler seniors wanted to go out at home. The good news is they'll have a bigger stage to try and redeem themselves on
This game had no impact on the Big East standings (Butler was already locked in to the #2 seed), but it will have an impact on the NCAA tournament. Indianapolis is a 1st round site for the NCAA tournament, and this home loss might mean it's no longer an option for Butler. They are competing with Kentucky and Louisville for the right to play their opening NCAA tournament game in Banker's life, and they just fell a step behind. The most likely site for the Bulldogs, if they can hold onto a top 4 seed, is now looking like Milwaukee.