The Villanova Wildcats held a 16-point lead at halftime but fell to the South Florida Bulls, 70-69. USF took a 68-67 lead with 22 seconds left on an inbound foulup by Maalik Wayns that turned into an easy Anthony Crater layup. Wayns made up for it by drawing a foul and hitting both free throws, but Crater countered by racing coast-to-coast and concerting the winning drive.
USF wil get Cincinnati tomorrow at 7 pm ET. In one meeting this season, the Bearcats topped South Florida 74-66 in Cincy.
South Florida basketball has yet to take off, historically speaking, despite a string of winning seasons by Seth Greenberg's early 2000s teams and a 20-win 2010 by Stan Heath. They last made the NCAA Tournament in 1992. But tonight's comeback win, the biggest in Big East Tournament history, could be the start of a changing atmosphere around the program.
Or it could just be yet another Nova collapse.
For more on this game, Villanova fans should join The Nova Blog and SB Nation Philly, and USF fans should join Voodoo Five and the all-new SB Nation Tampa Bay.
Updated 2011 Big East Tournament bracket:
First round: Tuesday, March 8
No. 9 Connecticut Huskies def. No. 16 DePaul Blue Devils, 97-71
No. 13 Rutgers Scarlet Knights def. No. 12 Seton Hall Pirates, 76-70
No. 15 South Florida Bulls def. No. 10 Villanova Wildcats, 70-67
No. 11 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. No. 14 Providence Friars, 9, ESPNU
Second round: Wednesday, March 9
No. 8 Georgetown Hoyas vs. UConn, noon, ESPN
No. 5 St. John's Red Storm vs. Rutgers, 2, ESPN
No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. USF, 7, ESPN
No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Marquette/Providence, 9, ESPN
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 10
No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Georgetown/UConn, noon, ESPN
No. 4 Syracuse Orange vs. St. John's/Seton Hall/Rutgers, 2, ESPN
No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Cincinnati/Villanova/USF, 7, ESPN
No. 3 Louisville Cardinals vs. West Virginia/Marquette/Providence, 9, ESPN
Semifinals: Friday, March 11
Quarterfinals game 1 winner vs. quarterfinals game 2 winner, 7, ESPN
Quarterfinals game 3 winner vs. quarterfinals game 4 winner, 7, ESPN
Championship game: Saturday, March 12
Semifinals winners, 9, ESPN
For more on the 2011 Big East tournament, stay tuned to this StoryStream and join SB Nation Indiana. Browse our 295 team blogs for a community devoted to your school, and visit our NCAA basketball hub for more on other conference