Dante Harris, Hoyas stun Villanova with 72-71 upset in Big East Tournament

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Kevin Brown
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Georgetown stuns Villanova 72-71 in Big East Tournament upset originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Georgetown center Qudus Wahab gathered a pass underneath the basket and posterized Villanova forward Cole Swider with a ferocious dunk reminiscent of the ones his coach, Patrick Ewing, used to throw down regularly in Madison Square Garden. 

That vicious slam and ensuing free throw set the stage for Georgetown's late heroics in a 72-71 upset of No. 1 seed Villanova in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament on Thursday in New York. 

The Hoyas were down three points with 40 seconds to go before tying the game on Wahab's dunk. After a Wildcats' free throw at the other end, Georgetown turned to its dynamic freshman guard, Dante Harris, to put the finishing touches on the quarterfinal upset. 

With an aggressive spin move to his left to get free, Harris was fouled with four seconds left. 

"Make the free throws," Ewing told the FS1 broadcast postgame of what he said to Harris. "We take a lot of free throws every day after practice to get ourselves prepared for moments like this. He stepped up and got the job done."

Harris finished with a team-high 18 points and Wahab finished with 17 points and six rebounds in the upset victory. 

The first free throw nearly rattled out before sinking in as Harris took a sigh of relief and calmly dispatched his second. A desperate buzzer beating heave for Villanova was no good.

"One of the things I talked to my team before we came here was taking steps. The first step was coming here and winning yesterday," Ewing said. "Today was the second step, we took another step in my house by the way. This is my house." 

Leading at half time, the Hoyas traded blows all throughout the final 20 minutes. Though the Wildcats were without one of their leading guards in Collin Gillespie, the upset victory still marked a great step in the right direction for Ewing's program. 

"It's a great win, huge win. We played against the Cadillac, Bentley, whatever you want to call them, of the Big East. Once upon a time that used to be us," Ewing said. "We took a huge step to be able to knock them off...I think it shows that Georgetown is up and coming, and we have a lot more games to play. Hoya Saxa!" 

The Hoyas will play their first Big East semifinal in six years against the winner of St. John's-Seton Hall on Friday.