March 8, 2003
Cornette made a layup with 55 seconds left for a 55-52 lead and Duane Lightfoot sank one of two free throws with 9.7 seconds left to boost the margin to four points.
Willie Green, who scored Detroit's last 15 points, sank a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds on the clock to cut the lead to 56-55.
But when Green fouled out with 0.1 seconds left, Darnell Archey sank two free throws for the game's final points.
Butler (25-4), the tournament's top seed after winning the regular season league title, plays for the championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament Tuesday night against second-seeded UW-Milwaukee, which beat No. 3 UIC 75-73 in the second of the two semifinal battles. Tuesday's championship game will be at the U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee with a 7 p.m. EST tipoff.
Butler, whose No. 1 seed placed it directly into the semifinals, has won the tournament four of the last six seasons, with its last victory coming in 2001.
Fifth-seeded Detroit (18-12) was led by Green, the Horizon League MVP, with 21 points and Terrell Riggs with 16.
Midway through the second half the Bulldogs scored 11 straight points to go ahead 38-29.
Miller started the surge with a 3-pointer to give Butler its first lead of the game at 30-29.