Historic Season Ends in Elite Eight
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Kansas State's historic 2009-10 season came to an end Saturday afternoon as the Butler Bulldogs held off a second-half surge from the Wildcats to take a 63-56 win Saturday in the West Regional Final at EnergySolutions Arena and advance to the Final Four.
The 2009-10 Wildcats will go down as the winningest team in school history with their 29-8 record this season and the postseason run through the NCAA Tournament was one Wildcat fans will not soon forget.
Despite trailing almost the entire game, K-State rallied as Denis Clemente made a three-pointer with 4:49 left to cap an 8-0 run and give the Cats their only lead of the game, 52-51.
Butler's Gordon Hayward then got fouled going to the hole and made two free throws to take the lead back, and teammate Matt Howard made one more free throw to make it 54-52. Clemente dribbled for a layup to tie the score at 54, and that was the last significant basket the Wildcats would make.
Butler grabbed the early 10-4 lead in the game as K-State hit just two of its first eight shots from the field. The Bulldogs hustled their way to a 20-10 lead as the Cats connected on just five of their first 20 shots. But, Kelly answered with four straight to pull within six before Butler scored five in a row to go ahead 23-14. Down 27-16, the Cats closed the half with a Luis Colon tip-in and a Clemente layup to get back to within seven at the break, 27-20.