Villanova Closes Out Spectrum With Signature Win

It was the final college game at the Spectrum. It was the place where Bob Knight won two national championships at Indiana. It was the place where Christian Laettner hit the shot to knock off Kentucky and move Duke into the 1992 Final Four. So fittingly, in this finale, Villanova knocked off PItt 67-57.

This was an absolutely vital win for the Wildcats. They were on the verge of falling below .500 in the Big East. They lacked any high quality wins, and were barely staying in the Top 25. They got the big win by beating the third-ranked Panthers with the Wildcats' quickness able to get Pitt's inside players -- DeJuan Blair and Tyrell Biggs -- in foul trouble. It created the room for the guards to drive, dish and shoot.

Villanova was able to beat Pitt by attacking inside. The officials called it tight, which favored the Wildcats. Villanova, with shooters and guards that could attack the basket, did just that.

The first half, it seemed that Pitt could survive as the Panthers had a five-point lead at the break. In the second half, though, the fouls really piled up and 'Nova kept going to the free throw line. Pitt could not answer. The Panthers became visibly frustrated and settled too many times for contested jump shots. Pitt shot 3-for-6 on threes in the first half, but missed all eight attempts in the second half.

Blair's foul trouble really took the pressure off Dante Cunningham for Villanova inside. It gave him room as Pitt had to worry about the Wildcat guards. Reggie Redding was big for Villanova to keep it in the game in the first half and then making free throws late.

Pitt again struggled without DeJuan Blair inside. In the three games in which Blair's minutes have been limited by foul problems, Pitt is just 1-2. While it could be argued that a couple of the fouls called on Pitt were touch fouls that should not have been called, Blair made two dumb fouls on the perimeter for which there was no justification. Villanova took advantage of the situation like a good team should.

Villanova Closes Out Spectrum With Signature Win originally appeared on NCAA Basketball FanHouse on Wed, 28 Jan 2009 21:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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