For a while there, it was looking like this might be first upset of the tournament, like 14th-seeded American U might actually steal one from No. 3 Villanova in front of their hometown fans.
After spending most of the first half trading shots, the Eagles started hitting big threes and the Wildcats struggled to keep up. Soon, Villanova was clinging to a 20-19 lead, then looking up at a 24-22 deficit -- then, after a Villanova miss led to a
The Eagles took a 41-31 lead into the locker room and led by as much as 53-42 in the second. But then things quickly fell apart. The same threes that fell harmlessly through the hoop in the first half -- American started out shooting 53.3 percent -- were bouncing high off the back iron in the second. The same helter-skelter drives that created opportunities in the paint devolved into careless possessions, led to costly turnovers and had the suddenly frantic Eagles committing unwanted fouls.
By the 7:30 mark, it was curtains. Villanova's
American senior guard
As sideline presences go, Jay Wright is the
Likely the tournament's toughest out in UCLA, Final Four regulars for the past three years. Though much of the nucleus is gone, the championship mentality remains. Oh, and so do