03/28 11:52 CDT AP Was There: Villanova shoots lights out to upend Hoyas
AP Was There: Villanova shoots lights out to upend Hoyas
By The Associated Press
A panel of Associated Press sports writers voted in March 2020 on the top 10
men's basketball games in the history of the NCAA Tournament. They are being
republished because the sport has been shut down because of the coronavirus
pandemic. The following game was voted No. 4 and the following story was sent
April 1, 1985.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) --- Underdog Villanova, shooting 79 percent from the field,
denied Patrick Ewing and top-ranked Georgetown a second straight NCAA
basketball title Monday night with a 66-64 victory.
Georgetown had won 17 straight games and completed the season with a 35-3
record and a 121-23 record in the four-year career of the 7-foot Ewing, a
four-time All-American. Villanova, 25-10, was beaten twice by the Hoyas during
the regular Big East season, 52-50 in overtime and 57-50, and Georgetown
entered the game a nine-point favorite.
"No one thought we could do it, but I did," Villanova coach Rollie Massimino
shouted afterward. And the rotund coach and his unranked crew from the
Philadelphia suburbs had plenty of heroes to go around.
Dawyne McClain hit two free throws and Harold Pressley one of two to provide
the margin of victory, with Georgetown's Michael Jackson completing the scoring
with a field goal with four seconds remaining.
McClain, hitting five of seven field goals. paced Villanova with 17 points and
6-foot-9 Ed Pinckney, who battled Ewing in the pivot all night, scored 16.
The Wildcats also hit 22 of 27 free throws and matched the Hoyas on the boards
with 17 rebounds. And they limited Ewing, the Hoyas' All-American center, to 14
Georgetown was trying to become only the seventh team and the first since UCLA
in 1973 to repeat as NCAA champions. They were being rated among the greatest
teams of all time, after breezing through the last part of their schedule and
looking stronger with each game.
But Villanova, which finished in a third-place tie in the Big East Conference
with Syracuse, began a six-game winning streak in the tournament, knocking off
other ranked teams such as No. 2 Michigan and No. 5 Memphis State in Saturday's
Their upset victory was akin to that of North Carolina State, which won the
NCAA title two years ago as an overwhelming underdog. But that N.C. State team
finished with one more victory against its 10 losses, and the 16th ranking in
the final pre-tournament poll. All Villanova had to show was hope as it entered
its sixth consecutive NCAA tournament, a competition they had never won.
The Wildcats pulled ahead 29-28 at halftime and after Ewing hit an opening
jumper in the second half, they went up 36-30 with Harold Jensen's basket, a
three-point play by Pinckney and a jumper by Gary McLain.
McClain's three-point play kept them up 41-36, but Georgetown came back and
went ahead on David Wingate's jumper 42-41 with 9:49 remaining.
The lead changed hands five times, the last on a jumper by Pinckney, who was
named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. McLain hit two free throws for a
Again the Wildcats went ahead by five on a Pinckney jumper but Georgetown came
back with six straight points. Wingate's drive put the Hoyas ahead 54-53.
Pinckney then lost the ball trying to drive against Ewing and the Hoyas went
into a spread offense. But Horace Broadnax, attempting to pass to Bill Martin,
threw the ball off a Villanova player and it bounced off Broadnax's feet.
Villanova then hit six straight points, with Jensen hitting a jumper, Pinckney
two free throws and Jensen two more free throws for a 59-54 advantage with 1:24
Broadnax then made a basket but Jensen, a reserve sophomore guard who played
most of the game, connected for two more free throws.
McClain then missed a free throw, snapping his string of 20 consecutive foul
shot tosses in the tournament, and Jensen also missed the front end of a
Ewing's jam brought Georgetown within 61-58 with 41 seconds left but McClain
then came through with two more free throws. A Wingate field goal pulled the
Hoyas within three but McClain then hit another one-and-one with 18 seconds
left for a 65-60 edge.
Michael Jackson scored for Georgetown before Pressley went to the line for two
free throws and made only one.
Ewing , the AP Player of the Year, hit seven of 13 shots from the field but
grabbed only five rebounds. Wingate had 16 points, hitting eight of 14 from the
Bill Martin and Reggie Williams also hit 10 points apiece for the Hoyas. All of
Williams' points came in the first half.
The Hoyas shot 52 percent and went to the free throw line only eight times,
connecting on six of them. Villanova, meanwhile, shot an incredible 90 percent
from the field in the second half.
Villanova's hot shooting overcame 17 turnovers forced by the relentless
Georgetown defense, which pressed and trapped virtually all the way. Pinckney,
a 6-foot-9 1/2 senior, hot on five of seven from the field.
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