Butler center Andrew Smith, right, passes the ball through the arms of Pittsburgh center Gary McGhee during the second half.
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Each team had a chance to win it from the foul line in the last 2 seconds. After Butler's Shelvin Mack inexplicably fouled Gilbert Brown near midcourt with 1.4 seconds left, Brown made the first try to tie it.
He missed the second, and Howard was fouled by Nasir Robinson while grabbing the rebound. Howard made the first shot, then intentionally banged the second attempt off the rim.
Brown finished with 24 points, but he will forever remember the missed free throw.
Mack scored 30 for Butler (25-9), which used a string of upsets to reach the championship game last year. Butler has won 11 straight overall and is 7-1 in its last eight NCAA tournament games.
The Bulldogs will next face Wisconsin in the Southeast regional.
Pittsburgh (28-6), the Big East regular-season champion, trailed by 12 points in the first half and blew a five-point lead in the second.
Wisconsin 70, Kansas State 65
TUCSON — Jordan Taylor hit two big free throws and blocked Jacob Pullen's 3-point attempt in the closing seconds to overcome a rough shooting night, lifting Wisconsin to a win over Kansas State.
Taylor shot just 2 of 16 but came up with the biggest play of the game, swatting Pullen's tying attempt in the final seconds with Wisconsin (25-8) up three. Josh Gasser then hit two free throws to seal it, sending the fourth-seeded Badgers into the round of 16 for the fourth time since 2000.
Wisconsin moves on to face upset specialist Butler, a winner over top-seeded Pittsburgh, in the Southeast regional semifinals Thursday in New Orleans.
Pullen matched a career high with 38 points to break the school's career scoring mark, but walked away wiping tears with his jersey after a stellar four years in the Little Apple.
BYU 89, Gonzaga 67
DENVER — Jimmer Fredette made seven 3-pointers and scored 34 points to help No. 3 seed Brigham Young defeat No. 11 Gonzaga and move to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 30 years.
The nation's leading scorer had trouble getting his shots in the first half. But he opened the second by hitting a 3 from five feet beyond the arc as part of an 11-2 run that broke the game open.
The Cougars (32-4) will head to New Orleans to play Florida in the Southeast regional semifinals Thursday. This is BYU's deepest run into the tournament since 1981, the year Danny Ainge went coast to coast for a last-second layup to beat Notre Dame in the round of 16.
Elias Harris and Steven Gray had 18 points for the Bulldogs (25-10).
Florida 73, UCLA 65
TAMPA — Florida's little man Erving Walker came up big again, scoring 21 points and hitting several clutch shots down the stretch as the Gators beat UCLA.
Walker scored 10 of his team's final 12 points, including four free throws in the final 33 seconds. His most significant basket was a 3-pointer with about a minute remaining. That shot gave the second-seeded Gators (28-7) a 69-65 lead and forced the No. 7 seed Bruins (23-11) into desperation mode.
UCLA wasted chances from the free-throw line, much like it did Thursday against Michigan State. The Bruins survived that one. They had no such luck against Florida.
Kenny Boynton added 12 points and five assists for the Gators. Alex Tyus chipped in eight points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
Josh Smith and Reeves Nelson led UCLA with 16 points apiece.
Connecticut 69, Cincinnati 58
WASHINGTON — Kemba Walker scored 33 points and the supposedly powerful Big East finally advanced a team to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 when Connecticut beat conference foe Cincinnati
Walker scored 16 points over the final 10 minutes as UConn ended the game with a 24-13 run.
The Huskies (27-9), the No. 3 seed in the West regional, advance to play No. 2 seed San Diego State in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday.
Rashad Bishop scored 22 points for the sixth-seeded Bearcats (26-8).
Cincinnati become the seventh of the Big East's record 11 NCAA tournament teams to be eliminated. Another one will exit Sunday when Marquette plays Syracuse in the East regional.
The game marked the first time in NCAA history two teams from the same conference have met this early in the tournament.
San Diego State 71, Temple 64, 2OT
TUCSON — Billy White had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard sealed San Diego State's exhausting, double-overtime victory over Temple with a steal and a slam dunk.
White sank the go-ahead jumper and Leonard made two free throws as the second-seeded Aztecs (34-2) used one last burst of their magnificent athleticism to finally put away the pesky, No. 7 seed Owls (26-7).
Ramone Moore scored 17 for Temple, which was coming off a 66-64 last-second victory over Penn State in the second round. San Diego State, never an NCAA tournament winner before this season, advanced to the West regional semifinals Thursday in Anaheim, Calif., against Connecticut.
Richmond 65, Morehead State 48
DENVER — Justin Harper scored 19 points and Kevin Anderson added 14, helping 12th-seeded Richmond advance to the round of 16 for the first time since 1988 with a win over No. 13 Morehead State.
The Spiders (29-7) will play the winner of Kansas-Illinois in the Southwest regional semifinals next Friday in San Antonio.
Richmond shut down Morehead State big man and NBA prospect Kenneth Faried — at least as much as anyone can these days.
Faried, the all-time Division I rebounder in the modern era, was held to 11 points and 13 rebounds as the Eagles (25-10), the darlings of the tournament after knocking off Louisville, were sent home.
For a rare change, Richmond entered the game as a favorite, a departure from the usual underdog role the team has assumed in the tournament.
Kentucky 71, West Virginia 63
TAMPA — Freshman Brandon Knight scored a career-high 30 points and Josh Harrellson delivered eight of his 15 during a pivotal stretch of the second half, helping fourth-seeded Kentucky beat No. 5 seed West Virginia.
Knight made six free throws in the final minute as the Wildcats (27-8) pulled away to advance to East regional semifinals against either No. 1 seed Ohio State or eighth-seeded George Mason. It's the second trip to the round of 16 in as many seasons under coach John Calipari.
West Virginia, which reached the Final Four a year ago by beating Kentucky in the regional final, led 41-33 after closing the opening half on a 22-7 run. But Kentucky scored the first 11 points coming out of the break and eventually wore down the Mountaineers (22-12).