Villanova Upset by Butler Again; Duke, Creighton, and Louisville Also Lose
The Villanova Wildcats are probably hoping that they won’t have to face Butler in the Big East or NCAA Tournaments. That’s because the defending NCAA champs have suffered two of their three losses this season to the Bulldogs. Butler, ranked #22, beat #2 Villanova 74-66 on February 22nd, handing the Wildcats their first home loss this season. The Bulldogs put together an 18-0 run in the second half to help seal the deal. Sixth man Kelan Martin led Butler with 22 points and eight rebounds. Butler is second in the Big East at 11-5, 22-6 overall, two games behind Villanova (13-3, 26-3). Both have two regular season conference games left.
Staying in the Big East, the third place team, #23 Creighton, has started to slip a bit in recent weeks. The Blue Jays lost to Providence 68-63 when the Friars’ Kyron Cartwright sank a three point basket with 2.2 seconds left. Providence is 7-8 in the Big East, 17-11 overall and has won three in a row after losing four of five. If the Friars have a good late season run into the conference tournament they could make it to the NCAA tournament. Creighton is 9-6 in the Big East and 22-6 overall but has lost five of nine, and plays at Villanova on February 25th.
In the ACC, tenth ranked Duke also lost on a late three pointer. Syracuse’s John Gillon hit one at the buzzer to end the Blue Devil’s win streak at seven games. The victory also ended Syracuse’s three game losing streak. Syracuse is another team on the bubble, with a record of 9-7 in the ACC and 17-12 overall. They next play at #7 Louisville on the 26th of February.
Speaking of Louisville, the Cardinals were at #8 North Carolina on the 22nd. The Tar Heels took a three point lead into halftime and pulled away in the second half for a 74-63 victory over the Cardinals. North Carolina (12-3, 24-5) has a two game lead in the ACC over Louisville, Duke, Florida State, and Notre Dame.