The tension was broken by an eruption that took 21 years to arrive, when La Salle’s name was called, putting the Explorers in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992.
The Villanova Wildcats, Temple Owls and La Salle Explorers will all be “going dancing” this week.
Mouphtaou Yarou made his first seven shots and scored 18 points, sending Villanova to a 66-53 victory over St. John’s in the second round of the Big East tournament Wednesday night.
With the Wildcats on the brink of putting themselves in position to secure at least an at-large bid, one major obstacle looms: No. 5. Georgetown.
Talib Zanna scored nine of his 14 points in overtime and No. 23 Pittsburgh rallied past Villanova 73-64 on Sunday.
Fuquan Edwin scored 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds left, to give Seton Hall a 66-65 victory over Villanova Monday night.
Darrun Hilliard scored 22 points and Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston both scored 11 to lead Villanova to a 60-56 victory over No. 17 Marquette on Saturday night.
Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker scored 19 points apiece, and Cincinnati turned up the defensive pressure and emerged from a two-game slump by beating Villanova 68-50 on Tuesday night.
Darrun Hilliard scored 17 points to lead Villanova to a 68-40 victory over cold-shooting South Florida on Saturday.
Ryan Arcidiacono scored 23 points and the Villanova Wildcats put together an impressive shooting display to pull away for a 94-71 victory at DePaul on Tuesday night.
Achraf Yacoubou hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer late in the second half to help Villanova upset No. 5 Louisville 73-64 on Tuesday night.
Providence earned a 69-66 victory over Villanova Saturday afternoon.
JayVaughn Pinkston scored 16 points and had eight assists to lead Villanova past Monmouth 83-56 on Saturday night.
The Big East — a proud league built on basketball moments like the 1985 Wildcats stunning conference rival Georgetown in the national championship game — will soon become extinct, even if the name lives on in some unrecognizable form.
The Wildcats blew open a close one at halftime Sunday to beat Delaware 75-65. It was Villanova’s 11th straight win over the Blue Hens.