All it took was an upset of epic proportions to rekindle the magic of the Big East tournament on Thursday. The drama filled first quarterfinal saw Seton Hall down one point to Villanova with 3.7 seconds left in the game. Sterling Gibbs changed that with a step back jumper that fell through the net as the buzzer sounded.
In a blink of an eye, the Big East’s No.1 seed, Villanova Wildcats, was sent packing before they could warm up to the new look conference tournament.
Eugene Teague led the Pirates with 19 points and 12 rebounds as he out muscled the undersized ‘Cats for most of the day.
The Seton Hall lead got up to 15 points, and it looked like the Pirates were going to breeze into the semifinals. However, Villanova turned up the heat defensively. Within moments, Villanova was back in the game and the inevitable was ready to happen.
Once Seton Hall lost the lead, it would have been easy to fall flat, instead, the Pirates battled back with timely three’s and even regained a five point lead late in the game.
Yet, that only set the stage for the final minute of a spectacular game. After tying the game on JayVaughn Pinkston foul shot, a steal and a bucket from Ryan Arcidiacono to Josh Hart gave Villanova a two point lead with 40 seconds left.
Of course Seton Hall came too far to let the game slip away. That’s when Jaren Sina hit a catch and shoot three from the deep corner to give the Hall a lead by one.
Then Darrun Hilliard answered with a spin dribble floater with 7.8 seconds left. Villanova had the lead and only needed one final stop. The step back was just too tough for Villanova to overcome.
Josh Hart led three Villanova players in double figures with 18 points.
Villanova fell to (28-4) and Seton Hall moved above .500 at (17-16).
For more sports news, check out Top 10+1 Sports Blog. If you liked this article, click the Subscribe button to receive email updates when a new article is published. Follow William on Facebook and Twitter. Find more by William on his music and sports page. Submit your mailbag questions via Tumblr.