March 22, 2008
Recap | Box Score | Photo Gallery 1 | Photo Gallery 2
Since the tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, therehave never been more than two teams seeded No. 12 or lower advancewhile playing at the same venue in the first round. This yearsgames at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. had all four teamsseeded 12 or lower advance. No. 12 Western Kentucky over No. 5Drake, 101-99 (OT) No. 13 San Diego over No. 4 Connecticut, 70-69(OT) No. 13 Siena over No. 4 Vanderbilt, 83-62 No. 12 Villanovaover No. 5 Clemson, 75-69 Since 1985, there have only been fiveprevious No. 12 vs. No. 13 matchups in the second round. Bothsecond round games in Tampa will feature 12 vs. 13 matchups,raising the number of these games to seven. No. 12 Western Kentuckyvs. No. 13 San Diego No. 12 Villanova vs. No. 13. Siena The last 12vs. 13 matchup was in 2001 (No. 12 Gonzaga vs. No. 13 IndianaState) Since 1985, when four first round games were played at onesite on one day, the lower seeds have won three-out-of-four timesand never four-out of-four until now.
The four sites were: Syracuse in 1991: No. 9 Villanova over No. 8 Princeton, No. 12 Eastern Michigan over No. 5 Mississippi State, No. 13 Penn State over No. 4 UCLA; Tucson in 1993: No. 9 UCLA over No. 8 Iowa State, No. 12 George Washington over No. 5 New Mexico, No. 13 Southern University over No. 4 Georgia Tech; Memphis in 2001: No. 9 Fresno State over No. 8 California, No. 12 Gonzaga over No. 5 Virginia, No. 13 Indiana State over No. 4 Okalahoma; Boise in 2001:No. 11 Georgia State over No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 10 Georgetown over No. 7 Arkansas, No. 15 Hampton over No. 2 Iowa State.
Villanova moves to 21-12 on the season after the 75-69 win overNo. 5 seed Clemson. The Wildcats have the most NCAA Tournament winsas an underdog seed than any other program (13). With the win,Villanova advances to the second round of the NCAA tournament forthe third time in four years (2005 & 2006). The game againstClemson marked the second time Villanova has been a 12 seed. TheWildcats were defeated by No. 5 seed LSU in 1990. Scottie Reynoldsled all scorers with 21 including 4-5 shooting from 3-point range.Villanova is now 4-0 all-time against Clemson with the previousmeeting coming on Dec. 27, 1989. The Wildcats hold an all-time43-28 record in the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats played an NCAAtournament game in the state of Florida for the first time inschool history. Villanova’s record against the ACC this year is now1-1 (lost to NC State). The Wildcats opened up the second half witha 7-0 run. Villanova’s first lead of the game came with 11:56 leftin second half after a 3-pointer by Scottie Reynolds made the score50-49. Villanova overcame its largest halftime deficit of theseason (12). The Wildcats’ previous high was on Dec. 6 when theycame back from an 11 point halftime deficit against LSU. Villanovaoutscored Clemson 28-18 in the points in the paint category. As ateam, Villanova shot 24-29 (82.8%) from the free throw line.
Clemson is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10years. They last appeared in 1998 and lost to Western Michigan,78-74 in the first round. Clemson last won a game in the NCAATournament in 1997 when they reached the Sweet 16 with wins overMiami (OH) and Tulsa. Clemson falls to 24-10 on the year. Freshmanguard Demontez Stitt was 4-4 from three point range in the firsthalf, a career record. His previous record was two which heaccomplished twice this season. Clemson started the game on a 12-2run that spanned 4:08 and had an 18 point lead at one point in thegame. Clemson’s best NCAA Tournament finish was when they reachedthe Elite Eight in 1980. That also happened to be their first everNCAA Tournament appearance. They lost to eventual runner up UCLA,85-74. Clemson is 4-3 in the NCAA Tournament against seeds 10 orhigher. Clemson was one of five schools to finish the season bothranked in basketball and football (Kansas, Tennessee, Wisconsin andTexas). Clemson is 0-2 all-time at the St. Pete Time Forum. Theylost to Florida State, 67-66, on Feb. 7, 2007 at the ACCTournament. The Tigers did not attempt a free throw in the firsthalf.
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