Villanova Avoids Near Upset From American To Keep Hoop Dreams Alive

Steve ChottCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 19:  Dwayne Anderson #22 of the Villanova Wildcats celebrates during the game against the American Eagles during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Wachovia Center on March 19, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Wildcats defeated the Eagles with a score of 80-67.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

If you were not tuned into the American vs. Villanova game last night, then you missed one heck of a game. The final score doesn't show how close it was.

The final score was 80-67, but at one time in the game it was American controlled by as much as 13 points. They stayed in a game that many people thought Villanova would have with ease.

The high scorers for Villanova were Dwayne Anderson and Dante Cunningham, both with 25 points. For American, it was Garrison Carr with 22.

Before the game, in my preview, I said that Carr would be a big factor and should have really been the Patriot League player of the Year instead of Derrick Mercer. He proved me right last night by playing phenomenally, and his teammates couldn't have asked for more from him.

Last night in the first half, Villanova was getting into a shooting contest with American, playing to their weakness. Once they started taking it to the rim in the second half, they got back on top and won the game.

From here, American will have to go home, but they can hold their heads high because they played one hell of a game and were very deserving of the Patriot League Championship.

For Villanova, they will play on and attempt to make it to their second consecutive Sweet 16, assuming they can get past UCLA.