Topple-seed: Villanova stunned 65-62 by Wisconsin in NCAA
Mar 19 2017
Villanova didn't score for the first 6:06 against Mount St. Mary's and only led for 46 seconds of the first half - setting the scene for the first 16-seed Cinderella story of March Madness - before settling in and playing like the tournament's No. 1 overall seed in the second half en route to a 72-52 victory. While picking No. 1 seeds to win it all isn't always the safest bet, it has been since 2010 that top seed failed to make it out of the first weekend of the tournament. Bridges leads in steals with 1.7 per game. "Look what they did a year ago against Xavier, they've been down this road before".
Senior guard Seth Allen, the one Hokie with tournament experience, having transferred from Maryland, had two points in the first half while dealing with a toe injury.
Princeton doesn't leave its Ivy League reputation for academic behind just because the Tigers are in the NCAA Tournament. This time, the host arena about 2 hours north of campus was filled with boisterous Gamecock fans.
"We fought as hard as we could", Leday said. "But it's fun right now". Yet the Terps and Gophers both suffered upset losses the past two days as higher seeds.
As for Wisconsin's inside game, senior forward Darryl Reynolds said the issue is the discipline and decision-making capabilities of the Badgers' big men.
For Villanova, it's a bitter end to a great season by the Big East champions, who came into the tournament expected to at least escape the East's bracket but had their hopes busted and will have to relish those moments from past year when they won their first title since 1985.
"This is a great day for Gamecock basketball", said Alex English, the Denver Nuggets great who scored 22 points in that long-ago SC win. "You can be down 8 or 10 points, hit a couple 3-pointers, and you're back in it".
The obvious size mismatch was on full display when the second half began. When Thornwell, voted Southeastern Conference player of the year by league coaches, nailed his third 3-pointer with 6:37 to play, SC was up 76-67 and pulling away.
Jujuan Johnson had 16 points to lead Marquette. Half the team was in there at 8 a.m.
"They've definitely made an impact on and off the court", Maillet said.
Villanova had five guys in double figures, including 21 from Donte DiVincenzo, who played 37 minutes coming off the bench and providing a huge spark.
Koenig Hit 6 of 12 3-pointers and finished with 20 points in the 66-63 victory.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks won't have it so free and easy against Duke as they did in this one. The Wildcats are favorites to win in this match up. All week long, senior Nigel Hayes has warned his teammates about the pain of losing at this point of the season. "We're not going to define ourselves that way, but we do get it". "It's just an unbelievable feeling". No one on the team, except for graduate transfer Katin Reinhardt, has ever made it to the tournament. After a layup by Hayes, a stop on Villanova's ensuing possession and then a contested 2-point jumper by Koenig, the Badgers trailed by just three points with 4:13 to play.