LEXINGTON, Ky. - Rotnei Clarke had been here before.
Well, not here, not exactly. The senior sharpshooter for Butler had never before played in the NCAA tournament. This was his only chance. But everything else about this environment was familiar: Clarke was back in SEC country, in Rupp Arena, where he remembers getting crushed by Kentucky when he played for Arkansas.
He was back in a crucial late-game situation, this time against Bucknell which already had taken a lead with a 16-point swing earlier in the game and now had hit a 3 to pull within eight points of Butler with a bit over two minutes left.
And Clarke was back to overcoming adversity, having shot poorly all game, only 1 of 7 from 3 to this point. That's been the theme of Clarke's season: When bad things happen, just keep shooting. So now, the shot clock winding down, Clarke rolled off one screen and then another. With a couple ticks on the clock, his teammate Kameron Woods passed him the ball. In his hands was a chanc...