Villanova deals Syracuse first Big East loss
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse survived two recent down-to-the-wire games with an upset of then-No. 1 Louisville last week and a two-point win against Cincinnati earlier this week.
On Saturday, the Orange couldn’t hold on to remain undefeated in Big East Conference play, as Villanova knocked off No. 4 Syracuse 75-71 in overtime.
It was the second time this week Villanova fans stormed the court, as the Wildcats upset No. 5 Louisville earlier this week.
Villanova (13-7) finished one of the best weeks in college basketball all season with its two victories against top-five teams, perhaps the top two teams in the Big East.
Villanova trailed 61-58 with 2.2 seconds left, but freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono made a contested three-pointer to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, Villanova guard James Bell came to life, drilling back-to-back dagger three-pointers and scoring eight of his team’s 14 points.
Coach Jim Boeheim is sure to get headaches when he watches film of his team’s critical errors down the stretch.
With Syracuse trailing by three with 12.5 seconds left in overtime, guard Brandon Triche, who led the Orange with 23 points, stumbled while trying to slice the deficit and missed a wide-open lay-up.
Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams, who came up clutch for Syracuse in wins against Louisville and Cincinnati, missed a crucial front end of a 1-and-1 with less than 25 seconds to go in regulation.