The Wildcats appeared headed to an easy win in their first game in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden Thursday.
Maybe too easy.
Up by 17 points in the first half, the Wildcats inexplicably frittered the lead away in the second stanza. With 10 seconds left in the game, they found themselves down by one and facing an agonizingly disappointing defeat.
But Dwayne Anderson pulled the ‘Cats out of the bag with a last-second layup that seemed to hang on the rim forever. In fact, the refs went to the videotape to be sure Anderson had released the ball before time had expired. He did, even if it likely did not fall through the twine until after the clock read all zeroes.
But that was only the beginning of the madness at Madison Square Garden.
The top two seeds in the tournament, Pitt and UConn, both fell last night. If you were not aware of the result of the UConn-Syracuse game, you likely are not alone this morning.
The teams played an epic 6-overtime game. The Orange stunned the Huskies, 127-117. The game began at 9:36. It ended 3 hours and 46 minutes later, just after 1 a.m. It was the second-longest game in Division I history.
And it opens the door for Villanova. With both Pittsburgh and UConn now on the sidelines, Villanova will battle Louisville tonight. The winner goes on to face the championship game to face the winner of the West Virginia-Syracuse game.
I guess that’s why the call it March Madness.