Butler's Howard, Mack get treatment

Cramps limited Shelvin Mack throughout the game, but Butler still advanced. Bob Donnan/US Presswire

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two of Butler's starters -- forward Matt Howard and guard Shelvin Mack -- were receiving medical treatment after the Bulldogs' 52-50 victory over Michigan State at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night.

Mack, a sophomore from Lexington, Ky., played only eight minutes in the second half because of cramping in his legs. Howard, a junior from Connersville, Ind., was groggy after hitting his head midway through the second half.

Butler coach Brad Stevens said Mack was being treated for dehydration, and doctors were checking Howard's awareness after the game. Stevens didn't know if both players would be available for Monday night's NCAA national championship game.

"We'll know more tomorrow after our medical staff and trainers look at [them]," Stevens said. "Hopefully those guys are available. If they're not, then somebody is going to have to step in and play well in their place."

Mack scored 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting in the first half, including a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left that tied the score at 28 at the half. Mack scored only two points in the second half.

Howard was hurt after Butler's Ronald Nored and Michigan State's Austin Thornton collided under the basket with 9:24 to go. Howard stayed on the court for a couple of minutes after hitting his head, but left the game and appeared to be sluggish while sitting on the bench.

"We actually thought he was OK," Stevens said. "He played for a couple minutes, but then he came over and said he wasn't feeling good."

Howard eventually returned to the game and finished with four points in 15 minutes.

Nored said he was confident Howard and Mack would be ready to go against the Duke-West Virginia winner in Monday night's championship game.

"I know they're going to be fine," Nored said. "They're tough and I think they'll be fine."