No. 7 Georgetown survived a huge Big East scare on Wednesday night. Soon-to-be NBA product Otto Porter Jr. made a game-winning layup with 12 seconds to play in double overtime, thwarting the Connecticut Huskies' valiant upset attempt, 79-78.
Georgetown (22-4) had all but wrapped up a win against Connecticut (19-8), but Huskies guard Omar Calhoun had other plans at the end of regulation.
With the Hoyas up five with under 20 ticks remaining, UConn got a quick layup from Calhoun before fouling Markel Starks. Starks missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Calhoun made him pay with a sweet three-pointer just before time expired.
Connecticut also got a late steal off the subsequent inbounds pass and had a chance to win the game. But Niels Giffey's deep heave was off the mark and sent a game that was all but over into overtime at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
After the overtime period didn't produce a winner, the back-and-forth style of play came down to the final two possessions. Georgetown and Porter (22 points) got a layup when the game mattered most, while UConn guard Ryan Boatright's three-pointer didn't draw net in the waning seconds.
DeAndre Daniels was the big-time scorer for the Huskies, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds while making shot after shot to keep UConn in the game. He led four Huskies that finished in double figures, but the upset bid fell short after Porter's heroics kept Georgetown in control of the Big East—for now, that is.
Our first tweet about Wednesday night's thriller comes from the UConn Huskies, who note how crazy it would have been if the game had ended on the final shot in regulation:
RockChalkBlog.com was loving the defensive intensity all the way from the Big 12:
Crazy defense in this Georgetown - UConn game.— RockChalkBlog.com (@RockChalkBlog) February 28, 2013
D'Arcy Maine begged the basketball gods for a UConn victory, but it seems they ignored her request:
Please don't let my incessant pacing for the last 30 minutes be for nothing, UConn.— D'Arcy Maine (@darcymaine_espn) February 28, 2013
As far as the game ball goes, Ed Daigneault is giving it to Daniels—win or lose:
UConn wins, game ball to Daniels. Hell, even if UConn loses. Guy's been immense.— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) February 28, 2013
Brendan Prunty loves the possibilities that exist over the next few days:
My dream scenario for the final Big East season still exists with a UConn win: Huskies winning regular season title. So many LOLs.— Brendan Prunty (@BrendanPrunty) February 28, 2013
Former Hoya DaJuan Summers loved the big-time play from Porter that netted his former school a huge win:
GEORGETOWN! Big time finish Otto— DaJuan Summers (@DSummersTime) February 28, 2013
Pete Thamel isn't afraid to put Porter in POY territory:
Holy Otto Porter. He wins another game for Georgetown at UConn. In 2 OT. His POY candidacy steams ahead. What a fun player to watch.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) February 28, 2013
And finally, ESPN graces us with this tweet, commending Georgetown for fighting through adversity on the road in a game it probably shouldn't have won after the final 10 seconds of regulation:
To win a tournament, you have to stare pressure in the face and conquer it. Georgetown did just that tonight.— ESPN (@espn) February 28, 2013
Just like the final tweet suggests, Georgetown is going to be a dangerous team in the tournament.
We are quick to shower praise upon the Big Ten for being college basketball's best conference, but the Big East has had something to say about that assertion for years. Just like the Big Ten, the Big East has talented teams from top to bottom and could end up with more than just one in the final stages of the 2013 tournament.
It's a disappointing loss for the Huskies, but a brilliant effort on both sides for each of these fierce competitors. While Georgetown will get to celebrate a huge win before getting ready for the next game and subsequent Big East tournament, UConn can hold its head high after fighting back from the brink of defeat at the end of regulation.
Another day, another exciting finish in college basketball.
And it's not even tournament time.