VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -- Twenty years after the same teams played
one of the most memorable NCAA championship games ever, Georgetown
enjoyed the winning end of a 66-64 score against Villanova.
Darrel Owens made the winning free throws with 0.1 seconds left
Saturday to give the Hoyas a thrilling victory over Villanova on
the same day the Wildcats honored their 1985 title team.
"I can't say it's how it was planned, but we'll take it," said
Georgetown coach John Thompson III, the son of the losing coach in
the game 20 years ago.
In that epic title game, it was the Wildcats who came up with
the 66-64 win over the Hoyas on April 1, 1985, in Lexington, Ky.
This one surely added another memorable moment to the rivalry.
Villanova (9-3, 2-2 Big East) seemingly sent this one into
overtime when Wil Sheridan's dunk with 2 seconds left tied it
64-all. With only time for a desperation play left, Ashanti Cook
heaved his inbounds pass to Owens who was fouled by Curtis Sumpter
on a driving layup attempt, as the sellout crowd howled in
Wildcats coach Jay Wright argued Cook was on the court when he
attempted his inbounds pass and the basket shouldn't have counted,
but the argument went nowhere.
"I didn't think they took the ball out of bounds, but it
shouldn't have gotten to that point," Wright said.
Owens, only a 57 percent free throw shooter, calmly made both
foul shots to clinch the wild win for the Hoyas (11-4, 3-1 Big
"It was kind of a heads up play in thinking what Coach would
probably want me to do in that situation," Owens said. "It worked
out. Ashanti made a great pass and we came away with the win."
The win put a damper on Villanova's 20th anniversary celebration
weekend of its 1985 national championship. The school retired a
jersey for former coach Rollie Massimino and honored the rest of
the last Philly-area pro or college team to win a championship.
"Don't ever forget this is a wonderful place to be," Massimino
told the crowd.
Then Massimino, who coached the Wildcats from 1973-1992, riled
up the faithful, telling them "Villanova and Jay Wright and his
crew are going to win it again!"
Not with games like this one.
The younger Thompson said the win -- even with the eerie score --
did nothing to erase what happened 20 years ago.
"It was a great time for Villanova, a great time for the Big
East, but I can honestly say I have not thought about that too
much," Thompson said. "I don't know if it was redemption for that
Villanova got an unexpected boost from Sumpter, who scored 14
points after missing the last two games with a sprained right
ankle. Sumpter played with a brace and said he felt no pain.
Allan Raye led Villanova with 17 points and Mike Nardi added 12.
The Wildcats played without Jason Fraser, who had surgery on his
broken right hand Friday and could miss 3 to 6 weeks.
Villanova, which survived a harrowing experience on its flight
home from Providence when the plane was forced to make an emergency
landing in snowy Rhode Island early Wednesday, lost for the second
time in three games and plays No. 2 Kansas on Saturday.
The Wildcats dominated early in the first half, using a trapping
defense to score 17 points off nine Georgetown turnovers. They used
a 15-4 run to stretch the lead to 13 until the Hoyas started
The Hoyas finally tied the game midway through the second half,
then went ahead for the first time since the opening minutes when
two free throws by Ed Reed made it 57-56.
Georgetown twice let the Wildcats tie -- including Sheridan's
dunk -- and survived a couple of could-have-been costly turnovers in
the final minutes.
The Hoyas were 15-of-18 from the line; Villanova went 19-for-25.
"We've got to regroup, come back and forget about this one,"
Wright said. "They just made the last play. There's a lot of
things we could've done."
Georgetown played for the first time at the Pavilion and was on
Villanova's campus for the first time since March 6, 1950.
Other than the final score, this game showed little resemblance
to the 1985 epic when there was no shot clock or 3-point line. The
Wildcats took more shots in the first half (30) on Saturday than
they did the entire championship game (28) and each team made five