Villanova Digs Out of Deep Hole to Upset Clemson

Despite coaches' technical foul in final minutes, hold on, 75-69
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2008 1:33 AM CDT
The Clemson bench reacts to their 75-69 loss to Villanova during an NCAA Midwest Regional first-round tournament basketball game Friday March 21, 2008 in Tampa, Fla.    ((AP Photo/Mike Carlson))
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(Newser) – It would not have been an easy loss for coach Jay Wright to live down, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer, if it had come to that, but his players bailed him out after a costly technical foul with less than three minutes left in regulation that helped Clemson tie their first round matchup in the NCAA Midwest Regional. Villanova, seeded No. 12, immediately pushed back into the lead, then held on to beat the 5th-seeded Tigers.

The Wildcats, aided by Scottie Reynold's 21 points, overcame an 18-point first half deficit before surging ahead in the second stanza by as much as 8. However, Clemson made its own run in return, roaring back with a late 12-3 run to tie the proceedings at 66-66 with 1:55 remaining. Villanova, unfazed, regained the lead for good with crucial last minute free throws and then sealed it from the charity stripe down the stretch.