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Originally published March 13, 2014 at 9:57 PM | Page modified March 13, 2014 at 10:26 PM

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Seton Hall buzzer-beater stuns No. 3 Villanova

Villanova didn’t do much with its No. 1 seed this week, and the Wildcats may not get another one.


The Associated Press

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NEW YORK — Villanova didn’t do much with its No. 1 seed this week, and the Wildcats may not get another one.

Sterling Gibbs hit a step-back jumper at the buzzer and Seton Hall stunned third-ranked Villanova 64-63 in a thrilling Big East quarterfinal Thursday, a loss that could cost the conference’s regular-season champion a top seed in the NCAA tournament.

“You’ve all heard me say this before: This was not about 1 seeds, 2 seeds. This was about we wanted to come to Madison Square Garden and win the Big East tournament. Winning the Big East tournament would mean much more to us than a 1 seed,” Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. “The NCAA tournament seedings, my belief is 1, 2, 3, it doesn’t matter that much. You’re going to play great teams.”

Eugene Teague had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the eighth-seeded Pirates (17-16), who advanced to the Big East semifinals for the first time in 13 years.

Josh Hart scored 18 to lead the top-seeded Wildcats (28-4), beaten only twice in 18 league games this season while winning their first outright Big East title since 1982. Both losses were blowouts by Doug McDermott and Creighton.

Patrik Auda scored all 13 of his points in the first half for Seton Hall, a 10½-point underdog. But the pesky Pirates, accustomed to playing close games, built a 15-point lead and recovered after Villanova spurted past them with a 16-0 run in the second half.

It was Seton Hall’s first victory in five tries against top-seeded teams at the Big East tournament.

“That was a great college basketball game,” Wright said. “Great to be a part of it. Great atmosphere. The Garden was rocking. We had a lot of fun.”

Villanova took a 63-62 lead on Darrun Hilliard’s floater in the lane with 7.8 seconds to go. Seton Hall pushed the ball past halfcourt, then called timeout with 3.7 seconds left.

With much of the crowd on its feet, Jaren Sina inbounded and Gibbs backed off Hilliard with a hard step back, draining a 17-foot jumper from the top of the key just as the horn sounded.

“We never really got rattled,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard said. “These guys have a lot of heart. They have a lot of character, and they deserve to win.”

Other men’s games

No. 10 Kansas 77, Oklahoma State 70 (OT)

In Kansas City, Mo., Andrew Wiggins scored 30 points, Wayne Selden Jr. had 14 and Kansas (24-8) pulled away in the final seconds of overtime for a victory over Oklahoma State (21-12) in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.

Baylor 78, No. 17 Oklahoma 73

In Kansas City, Mo., Isaiah Austin scored 18 points and Baylor (23-10) held on after blowing most of a 21-point lead for a victory over Oklahoma (23-9) in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.

No. 21 UConn 72, No. 19 Memphis 53

In Memphis, Tenn., Niels Giffey scored a career-high 24 points, hitting six three-pointers, as UConn (25-7) finished off a season sweep of Memphis (23-9) by routing the Tigers in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

No. 24 Ohio St. 63, Purdue 61

In Indianapolis, LaQuinton Ross scored 19 points and Aaron Craft finished with 16, helping Ohio State (24-8) hang on against Purdue (15-17) in the Big Ten tournament.

Women’s game

Idaho St. 70, E. Washington 65 (OT)

In Grand Forks, N.D., Idaho State (14-16) made back-to-back baskets early in overtime and that was enough to end Eastern Washington’s season in the Big Sky tournament semifinals.

Senior forward Aubrey Ashenfelter, who played in a school-record 122 games, paced the Eagles (16-14) with 17 points and four assists.

Note

• Rice coach Ben Braun resigned after the Owls finished the season 7-23. He was 63-128 in six seasons with Rice.



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