Butler Bulldogs cannot be denied

HOUSTON -- The MVP of Butler's 70-62 win over Virginia Commonwealth didn't score a single point.

Ronald Nored launched five shots and missed them all, but without Nored, Butler may not be doing the unthinkable: playing in a back-to-back national championship game.

The playmaker and lockdown defender for the Bulldogs scored his biggest assist hours before the game even tipped off, concocting a devious plan that ended up being every bit as critical as Brad Stevens' game plan.

As Butler gathered for its pre-game meal, Nored leaned over to Shelvin Mack, the Bulldogs' best pure scorer, and told him that he'd read that some of the Virginia Commonwealth players were dogging Mack, saying he wasn't anywhere near as good as some of the players they'd faced in this NCAA tournament.

"Yeah it was a total lie," Nored said. "Nobody said that, but I'd seen that on a '30 for 30' about Reggie Miller. Marc Jackson told him some stuff and Reggie went off. I figured if it worked for Reggie, maybe it would work for Shelvin. I mean it couldn't hurt, right?"

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