PHILADELPHIA -- As if beating one team ranked in the top five in a week wasn't enough for Villanova, it took down No. 4 Syracuse at the Wells Fargo Center, 75-71 in overtime.
James Bell scored eight points in the overtime period to lead Villanova to its second straight upset. He had just five points in regulation, but made all three of his shots in the extra 5 minutes to finish with 13.
Freshman Ryan Arcidiacono hit a 3 from the corner to tie the game 61-61 with just seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. He had just 10 points on the day, with none bigger than the shot to send it to overtime.
Syracuse was led by senior Brandon Triche, who had 24 points for the Orange. He was joined by Michael Carter-Williams, who had 16 points, four of which came in overtime.
Darrun Hilliard was the catalyst on offense for Villanova in regulation. The 6-foot-6 guard came into the game averaging just 10 points a game, but went off for a career-high 25 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He was joined in double digits by Mouphtaou Yarou, who had a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Syracuse took its first lead of the day with 19:15 remaining in regulation on a Jerami Grant shot from beyond the arc. The freshman opened the second half on his own 7-0 run to give the Orange the lead 33-32. Grant, who had 12 points and five rebounds on the day, fouled out with 5:22 remaining in the second half.
Villanova started the game on a 10-0 run, with the first seven points coming from the sophomore Hilliard. Villanova pushed its lead to as big as 25-13 with 7:38 left in the first half. The 12-point deficit was the largest of the year for Syracuse. The Orange chipped its way back to close out the half down just 32-26.
Hilliard led all scorers at halftime with 15 points. Yarou was the next leading scorer for Villanova with six points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes. The Wildcats shot 46.4 percent from the field in the first half, contributing to their halftime lead.
Syracuse had a slow start to the game. It shot just 29 percent (9 for 31) from the field, including just 1 for 5 from beyond the arc. Philadelphia native Rakeem Christmas led the Orange scoring-wise in the first half with seven points and pulled down three rebounds. He finished the day with nine points and eight rebounds.
Notes: Syracuse had won 28 of its last 29 Big East conference games, the best 29-game stretch in league history before the loss. ... Syracuse forward James Southerland did not make the trip to Philadelphia. He is sitting out his fourth straight game due to an eligibility issue. ... With its 32-26 lead at halftime, Villanova has led at the half in its last 14 games (10-4).