Three Big 5 teams ousted in just over 12 hours

James Bell

Villanova will have to sit tight and await their NCAA tournament seed after losing to Seton Hall Thursday. Credit: Getty Images

Villanova, La Salle and Temple all made early exits from their respective conference tournaments in just 14 hours, spanning from midnight Thursday to Thursday at 2 p.m. The Wildcats’ defeat at the hands of Seton Hall sent shockwaves through the Big East, and created uncertainty amid the upcoming NCAA brackets.

Leading by one, the Wildcats played tight defense with 3.7 seconds remaining, but a jumper from the top of the key by Pirate’s guard Sterling Gibbs gave No. 8 Seton Hall the win over the third-ranked team in the nation and Big East No. 1.

The Wildcats drop just their fourth game of the season, and the team, which at one time looked like a de facto No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, possibly ended that bid in seconds as the quarterfinals in Madison Square Garden reached a climax.

Just minutes earlier, La Salle, looking to make a run to the A-10 finals to get a surprise berth into the Big Dance was beaten 82-72 by St. Bonaventure in that tournament’s first round.

And it all got started late Wednesday night, when Temple looked poised to win their first ever AAC Tournament game against UCF. But after two gut-wrenching overtimes, the Owls fell 94-90 just after midnight Thursday.

Only one Philadelphia team remains in conference tournament play, St. Joseph’s, who has a bye and will play its first game Friday.

The Hawks are on the bubble and need a few more wins to solidify themselves as a tournament team.

Drexel and Penn will both miss postseason play.


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