'Nova Wins Thriller, Joins UConn in Final 4

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 28, 2009 9:32 PM CDT
Villanova players celebrate after defeating Pittsburgh, 78-76.   (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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(Newser) – Villanova beat Pitt, 78-76, in dramatic fashion to reach the Final Four for the first time since its surprise run to the championship in 1985. The Wildcats join UConn, which held off Missouri, 82-75. 'Nova's Scottie Reynolds made a driving layup with 0.5 seconds left for the win. Dwayne Anderson added 17 points for Villanova, which responded to Pittsburgh’s physical play by sinking 22 of 23 free throws. The Wildcats will play the winner of UNC-Oklahoma.

In the UConn game, freshman Kemba Walker scored 23 points as the top-seeded Huskies extended the Big East's dominance of the tournament. The Huskies blew an early 11-point lead but survived against the frenetic third-seeded Tigers, who were denied their first Final Four berth. UConn, which went 10-for-10 from the line in the final minute, will play the Louisville-Michigan State winner.