The top half of the Big East Tournament bracket is as wide open as projected.
Villanova was indeed compromised — tri-Big East Player of the Year Collin Gillespie is out for the season with a knee injury and Justin Moore was clearly not himself playing on a bad ankle — and Georgetown took advantage. The No. 8 seed pulled the upset, 72-71, moving on to Friday night’s semifinals, where the Hoyas will meet the winner of No. 4 St. John’s and No. 5 Seton Hall.
Freshman Dante Harris’ two free throws with 4.7 seconds left lifted the Hoyas, who trailed by 10 points midway through the second half. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had given Villanova the lead with a free throw with 18.5 seconds to go. On the final possession, Harris got a switch, and Patrick Ewing could be heard yelling, “drive him.” Harris got into the late and drew the foul on Robinson-Earl.
It is Georgetown’s first trip to Friday night at the Garden since 2005. The year before was the last time the No. 1 seed lost its opener, when Villanova fell to Seton Hall.
The Wildcats are still safely in the tournament. Georgetown, meanwhile, is halfway to becoming an unexpected bid-stealer.