PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Syracuse might want to scrub Philadelphia teams from the schedule.
In December, a loss to Temple.
On Saturday, a loss to Villanova.
Even worse for the third-ranked Orange, they were seconds away from a ninth straight victory.
Ryan Arcidiacono spoiled those plans with the tying 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in regulation, and James Bell hit consecutive 3s in overtime to send Villanova to its second win over a Top 5 team this week, 75-71.
The Wildcats defeated No. 5 Louisville 73-64 on Tuesday and became the first unranked team to beat two Top 5 teams in the same season since Florida State in 2011-12, according to STATS LLC.
Brandon Triche led the Orange (18-2, 6-1 Big East) with 23 points and Michael Carter-Williams added 17.
“We couldn’t get going offensively for a long time,” coach Jim Boeheim said. “We hung in there and battled.”
The Wildcats (13-7, 4-3) took advantage with Syracuse’s rough night from the field.
Arcidiacono’s 3-point attempt to tie with about 25 seconds left in regulation was off the mark. Carter-Williams missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and JayVaughn Pinkston of the Wildcats grabbed the rebound.
Bell missed a 3 and Mouphtaou Yarou grabbed the offensive rebound. Syracuse decided not to foul, giving Yarou time to kick it out to Arcidiacono. He let go a leaner from just beyond the 3-point line to tie the game at 61, force overtime and send the crowd of 18,273 into a frenzy.
“I just put it up and luckily it went in,” Arcidiacono said. “I think we’re having fun.”
The Wildcats may not be ranked in next week’s AP Top 25 poll, but they have worked their way into NCAA tournament consideration.
“What a week for us,” coach Jay Wright said.
What an understatement.
Philadelphia’s college fans came down with a case of court-storming fever this week after Villanova’s win over Louisville and La Salle’s 54-53 win the next night over No. 9 Butler. At the Wells Fargo Center, home of the NHL’s Flyers, the fans made it a Philly hoops hat trick, rushing the court in celebration of perhaps the biggest regular-season week in Villanova history.
With the Orange down two points in overtime, Triche made one free throw with 46.5 seconds left.
Bell followed with a layup to for a 71-68 lead and the Wildcats (13-7, 4-3) held on from the free throw line.
“It stinks, but hopefully we play them again in the Big East tournament,” Carter-Williams said.
Darrun Hilliard scored 25 points had six assists and no turnovers in 38 minutes. Yarou had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Wildcats while Bell scored 13 points. The Wildcats committed only one turnover in the final 14 minutes.
Yes, this is the same team that lost consecutive games to Alabama, Columbia and La Salle in November. There’s no break on the schedule, either: Villanova plays Wednesday at No. 24 Notre Dame.
“It takes time to build a team,” Wright said. “That’s what we’re doing here. We’re building a team.”
The Orange clearly could have use James Southerland in the tight game. Southerland, second on the team in scoring at 13.6 points and the team leader with 33 3-pointers, was declared out indefinitely because of an eligibility matter involving academics that has yet to be resolved.
Jerami Grant, who played well in Southerland’s absence, hit a 3-pointer early in the second half that gave the Orange their first lead of the game, 33-32. Grant fouled out with 5:22 left and the Orange up one. His fifth foul was against Hilliard. Hilliard missed both from the line, the Orange stormed down in transition off the defensive board, and Triche hit a 3 for a 57-53 lead.
The Orange just could never put them away. They missed six of eight shots in overtime and were only 5 of 14 overall from 3-point range.
“We played good D but their point guard just made a good shot to send it to overtime,” forward C.J. Fair said. “I knew we had a shot at coming back and winning this game. It just didn’t bounce our way.”
Triche, a 50 percent shooter on the season, hit Syracuse’s first 3-pointer of the half to slice the lead to four. He tipped in a basket at the buzzer to cut the lead to 32-26.
“We missed a lot more layups than we have all year,” Boeheim said. “That’s part of the game.”
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