COL BKB: West Virginia 53, Notre Dame 51

NEW YORK, March 13 (UPI) -- Da'Sean Butler scored 24 points Friday and West Virginia survived a missed 3-pointer to defeat Notre Dame 53-51 and reach the Big East title game.

The sixth-ranked Mountaineers will take on Georgetown on Saturday with the conference's automatic NCAA Tournament berth on the line.


Georgetown reached the championship contest with an 80-57 conquest of Marquette.

Butler hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the quarterfinals on Thursday to give West Virginia a 54-41 win over Cincinnati and he made 9-of-14 shots from the field against Notre Dame.

Butler, however, missed a 3-point try that would have clinched the victory with 16 seconds left and the Fighting Irish had a chance to tie it or win it with a 3-point basket.

Tory Jackson attempted a 3-pointer with 5 seconds to go, but was unable to deliver.

West Virginia (26-6) won its fifth straight game. In addition to its thrilling victory over Cincinnati, the Mountaineers ended their regular season with a two-point, overtime decision over Villanova.

West Virginia will be trying for its first Big East tourney title.

Ben Hanbrough led Notre Dame (23-11) with 17 points. The Fighting Irish had won their previous six games, their longest winning streak of the season.


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