Columbia is joining the new Big East. Not really, but after the middle of the pack Ivy League team went into Villanova for a huge win, no one would have expected that Villanova would beat three Big East teams ranked in the Top 5 including a 67-57 win over No. 5 Georgetown today. The win probably put Villanova in the NCAA tournament, and it dropped the Hoyas into a 3-way tie for first place in the Big East.
At 13-4, the loss drops Georgetown into a three-way tie for first place in the Big East with Louville and Notre Dame with just one game to go. It appears the Hoyas still have the tie-breakers if they can win at home against Syracuse, but if they falter, Louisville could win the title with a home win against Notre Dame, and if both lose, Marquette could win the title with a win at St. John’s.
Wednesday Georgetown led for the last time at 11-10, but James Bell hit a three-pointer with 11:17 to play and Villanova stole the ball four times in the next three minutes.
Darrun Hilliard stole the ball on the next trip and got it to Ryan Aridiacono who was fouled. Moments later Yarou grabbed a defensive rebound and fed it to Pinkston who was fouled. Then eight seconds later Pinkston stole the ball and got it to Arcidiacono who was fouled again. Bell came up with two more steals to make it four steals in less than three minutes, the last time getting it to Tony Chennault for a layup to make it 19-12 with 8:39 to play.
Mouphtaou Yarou (pictured) dominated the boards with 11 rebounds–more than half of what the entire Georgetown team grabbed (21 team rebounds)–and was one of three Villanova players with three steals each. The other two were Bell and Pinkston (20 points). Overall Villanova had a 13-6 edge in steals.
The team battled Georgetown’s Otto Porter everywhere he went on the court, holding him to a respectable 17 points on 15 shots after a month of dominance during the Hoyas 11-game win streak.