Seton Hall stuns No. 3 Villanova in Big East quarterfinal

Sterling Gibbs
Teammates mob Seton Hall’s Sterling Gibbs (4) after he hit the winning shot against Villanova in a Big East Conference tournament game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday in New York.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

Sterling Gibbs hit a step-back jumper at the buzzer and Seton Hall stunned No. 3 Villanova, 64-63, in a thrilling Big East quarterfinal Thursday at New York, a loss that could cost the Wildcats a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament.

Eugene Teague had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the eighth-seeded Pirates (17-16), who advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals for the first time in 13 years. They will play Providence, a 79-74 winner over St. John’s, on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

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

McDermott had 35 points, 27 in the first half, in the Bluejays’ 84-62 victory over DePaul.


Patrik Auda scored all 13 of his points in the first half for Seton Hall, a 10 1/2 -point underdog. But the 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.


Chris Jones scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half, and fifth-ranked Louisville routed Rutgers, 92-31 at Memphis, Tenn. The Cardinals (27-5) have won three straight and 10 of their last 11. Rutgers had far more turnovers (17) than made shots (7) in the first half. The defending national champions next will play Houston, which upset No. 25 Southern Methodist, 68-64, in the semifinals. Jherrod Stiggers scored 19 points, including five three-pointers, for the Cougars.

Mountain West


Xavier Thames scored 15 points and had seven assists to lead No. 8 San Diego State over Utah State, 73-39, in the quarterfinals at Las Vegas. The top-seeded Aztecs shot 52.5% and outscored the Aggies in the paint, 40-14. Reserves Bryce Dejean-Jones and Roscoe Smith combined for 40 points off the bench as Nevada Las Vegas held off Wyoming, 71-67.

Big 12

Andrew Wiggins scored 30 points and No. 10 Kansas pulled away in the final seconds of a 77-70 overtime victory over Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals at Kansas City, Mo. Naadir Tharpe made four foul shots in the extra session to secure the victory for the top-seeded Jayhawks (24-8), who will face No. 16 Iowa State in Friday night’s semifinals. The No. 16 Cyclones, behind 24 points and 10 rebounds from Melvin Ejim, defeated Kansas State, 91-85. Iowa State was clinging to an 87-85 lead with just over a minute left when Ejim missed a layup and the Wildcats (20-12) got the rebound. They raced the other direction, but Shane Southwell lost control of the ball going toward the rim and Iowa State came away with it.

Big Ten

LaQuinton Ross scored 19 points and Aaron Craft finished with 16, helping No. 24 Ohio State hang on against Purdue, 63-61, in a first-round game at Indianapolis. The win sent the defending tournament champions into Friday’s quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Nebraska. Austin Hollins scored 18 points in Minnesota’s 63-56 victory over Penn State, the third win in four games for the Golden Gophers.


South Carolina (14-19) won its second straight game at Atlanta, upsetting Arkansas, 71-69, on behind 17 points from Sindarius Thornwell and probably knocking the Razorbacks out of the NCAA tournament. Jabari Brown scored 26 points, Earnest Ross added 24 and Missouri (22-10) kept alive its hopes of an NCAA bid, by defeating Texas A&M, 91-83, in double overtime.

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