Epic comeback by Rutgers to beat Villanova [video]

Watch the final minutes of Wednesday’s Villanova/Rutgers game where the Scarlet Knights came back from a nine-point deficit with just 2:00 to play. In fact, they were down five with just 0:16 to play and still managed to win the game in regulation.

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#21 Pitt upends #3 Villanova, 70-65

This game was decided on Villanova’s defensive glass, as the Panther big men were just too much for the Wildcats inside. Pitt posted 18 offensive rebounds in the game, which enabled the Panthers four extra shot attempts and 18 extra free throws.

The Wildcats have a nice group of guards, and promise to make some noise come tournament time, but they’re going to have major issues when they face a big and determined front line.

UConn upsets #3 Villanova

It took 29 points from Kemba Walker, but the Huskies upset the Wildcats, 84-75, in Philadelphia.

Losers of five of its last seven, UConn still has a lot of work to do, but a win on the road against Villanova sure helps their tournament chances. The Huskies are sitting at 5-8, so they really need to go 4-1 down the stretch against Rutgers, West Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame and South Florida to get back to 9-9 in conference and 19-12 overall. (A win against the Mountaineers would really help.) Then, a couple of wins in the Big East championship would give UConn 21 wins and a reasonably solid resume for an NCAA bid.

We’ll see.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

#5 Villanova beats #4 West Virginia

The Wildcats upended the Mountaineers, 82-75, in Morgantown behind 21 points from Scottie Reynolds and 17 points from Corey Fisher.

In Reynolds, Fisher and Reggie Redding, Villanova certainly has the guard play to make a deep run come March, but they lack the size inside to handle the likes of Kansas’s Cole Aldrich or Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins. I think ‘Nova will run into trouble in a matchup with Kansas and Kentucky because both teams have good guard play and the requisite size down low.

The Mountaineers look like another Bobby Huggins-coached team. They’re physical and play good defense, but can go through long stretches where they have trouble scoring.

Pitt falls, UConn advances

It’s all right there in the title — my bracket is f*#kd.

The Pittsburgh Panthers played with fire for the entire tournament and they finally got burned. In the first three games, they showed tremendous poise in the clutch. But when they had a chance to put this game away, they blew it.

Up four with the ball and 2:56 remaining, Pitt brought the ball up against Villanova’s full court pressure. If Pitt converts there and goes up six or seven, it would be a tough road to hoe for Villanova. But Jermaine Dixon made a bad decision at half court, which led to a steal and eventually to a three-point play for Villanova. On Pitt’s next possession, Sam Young turned the ball over in the lane. And just like that, the Panthers’ four point lead turned into a one-point deficit.

Down four with 0:12 to play, it looked like all was lost, but DeJuan Blair slipped to the hoop for a bucket and the Wildcats turned the ball over going for the home run. Levance Fields was fouled and knocked down two free throws to tie the game with 5.5 seconds to play. One more stop and Pitt was going to force an overtime when they had absolutely no business doing so. But they made a mistake on the inbound play, allowing ‘Nova to catch the ball near halfcourt, where it was flipped to Scottie Reynolds who was streaking down the sideline. The long pass covered a lot of ground when Pitt should have forced Villanova to dribble the entire length of the court. Make them catch it in front of you!

Reynolds drove into the lane and hit a tough game-winner.


Give credit to Villanova for playing a great game. As a team, the Wildcats shot 22 of 23 from the free throw line, which is outstanding given the pressure of an Elite Eight game. It’s going to be fun to see them play in the Final Four.

In the other Saturday game, UConn fended off a feisty Missouri team with a 12-5 run over the last two minutes. UConn looked a little out of sorts in the second half, but freshman Kemba Walker scored 23 points off the bench to put the Huskies over the top.

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