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Ryan Greene

Siva's clutch plays highlight 'just another day' in the Big East

Ryan Greene
The Dagger

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Three Top 10 teams in one league went down on Saturday afternoon, and a fourth came awfully close.

Just another day in the Big East.

Lets take a quick tour …

No. 23 Louisville 79, UConn 78 (2OT)

Peyton Siva is turning into quite the late-game beast.

After his circus layup took out West Virginia earlier this week, he scored a tough bucket in close to tie it up at the end of regulation at UConn, then threw down a one-handed slam to send Saturday's game into a second overtime. Siva played 42 minutes, finishing with 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

On the UConn side, the biggest head-scratcher came in the final seconds of the second OT. No one should have touched the ball on the final possession other than Kemba Walker, with the Huskies trailing by one. And if anyone else had to touch it, the ball should have been in Walker's hands much sooner than when there were only 3.3 seconds left on the clock. The result was about a 40-foot 3-point attempt before the buzzer by Walker … which almost went in. Imagine if he'd had a couple more seconds to create some space ...

No. 21 Georgetown 69, No. 8 Villanova 66

Austin Freeman scored 30 points, including a killer three in the final minute after Chris Wright found him with a cross-court pass under duress. Freeman also got stuck in a double-team near mid-court moments later and spotted Nate Lubick wide open at the basket for a clinching dunk. He scored 10 of the Hoyas' final 12 points.

"We wanted to concentrate on getting the ball to Austin," Wright said afterwards. "It's stupid not to give him the ball."

That made it four wins in a row in the Big East for Georgetown, with three of those coming on the road. The run has helped make up for an awful 1-4 start in league play.

Marquette 76, No. 9 Syracuse 70

The Orange continue to fade after their 18-0 start to the season, as this went in the books as their fourth straight loss.

On the other side, Marquette needed the win in the worst way. The Golden Eagles are now also 5-4 in the Big East, but more than anything needed to prove that it could close out a top-flight opponent after letting late second half leads fizzle into losses against UConn, Notre Dame and Louisville … in the last two weeks.

Helping withstand the furious Syracuse rally were Jimmy Butler and Darius Johnson-Odom, who each buried monster 3-pointers in the clutch.

No. 2 Pitt 65, Rutgers 62

Ashton Gibbs hit a trey in the final minute that gave Pitt a 61-57 lead, helping seal up a win on a brutal offensive day for the Panthers. Take away Gibbs, who was 7-of-14 from the floor, and they were just 9-of-31.

Rutgers certainly didn't get much home cookin' from the refs, either, getting whistled for 26 fouls compared to 18 on Pitt. That led to a 35-18 advantage for the Panthers in free throw attempts.

West Virginia 66, Cincinnati 55

The only snoozer of the day ...

But at the end, the league's standings look as congested as ever from No. 1 to No. 10, with nine teams within three games in the loss column of Pitt (8-1).

Surely, more mess awaits.

Ryan Greene covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.

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