West Virginia Outlasts Georgetown, Wins First Big East Championship
The West Virginia Mountaineers will add their first Big East Tournament Championship to their already rich college basketball history after defeating the Georgetown Hoyas, 60-58, Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Once again, they have Da'Sean Butler to thank for it.
Like he did in five other games this year, Butler knocked in the game winning shot with around four seconds left on the clock.
This also earned him the Big East Tournament MVP award.
Not to be forgotten, Butler scored his 2,000th career point in the game, a mark that raises him to a status reserved for Jerry West and Rod Hundley.
His performance in the Big East quarterfinals against Cincinnati included a game-winning, three-point shot as time expired.
The win clinches a spot in the NCAA tournament for West Virginia, although their record during the regular season would have been enough.
This is a great time to get hot and start playing your best basketball, with the NCAA tournament just around the corner.
It also improves their resume and almost guarantees them at least a No. 2 seed in the postseason. Georgetown's run through the Big East Tournament has also earned them a better seed position in the NCAA tournament.
The Mountaineers looked in control throughout most of the game, but faltered slightly near the end of the half. Coming out of halftime, the Mountaineers led 32-28.
West Virginia led throughout the second half until the 54-second mark when Austin Freeman made three-point jump shot to tie the game, 54-54.
After two successful foul shots by Joe Mazzula and a two-point jumper by the Hoyas' Chris Wright, the Mountaineers found themselves in a familiar situation.
With just nine-seconds left, tournament MVP Da'Sean Butler would float in the game winner. Chris Wright's four-second scramble toward the other end of the court would end in a Kevin Jones block, thus sealing the game, and title, for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia's defense never let up the entire game, holding Greg Monroe to just 11 points and out-rebounding the Hoyas, 34-19.
Austin Freeman made his presence known, coming up with 14 points and three steals. Guard Chris Wright chalked up 20 points and seven assists for the Hoyas.
Forward Wellington Smith delivered a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two blocks, but fouled out before the end of the game. New York-native Kevin Jones recorded 12 points.
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Predicted Score: 63-58 WVU
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