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Villanova Posts Huge Upset Against No. 2 Kansas, 83-62

Jan. 22, 2005

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AP Sports Writer

PHILADELHPIA (AP) - Undefeated Kansas never stood a chance once Allen Ray, Curtis Sumpter and the rest of the spirited Villanova Wildcats got rolling.

Sumpter sank five 3-pointers and scored 25 points, Ray made four 3s and scored 27 and Villanova led by as many as 32 points in a stunning 83-62 victory over No. 2 Kansas on Saturday.

The Wildcat fans - who braved the first snowstorm in Philly this year - chanted "Overrated!" early in this one and counted down the final minutes before storming the 76ers' home court in celebration.

"Villanova today, the Eagles tomorrow!" one fan yelled as he left the court.

This was certainly the most important regular-season win in coach Jay Wright's four seasons. Only Illinois, Duke and Boston College remain among the undefeated teams in the Top 25.

The Wildcats (10-4) lost their last two games on free throws in the final seconds, but this one was never really close. After holding a modest seven-point lead at halftime, the Wildcats went on a 15-2 run to open the second half, gave up three points, then reeled off 16 straight points.

Kansas coach Bill Self pulled his starting lineup for about 6 minutes midway through the half. The Jayhawks (14-1) never played like they were one of the best teams in the country, playing fast and loose with the ball with bad decisions and costly turnovers.

They had six turnovers during Villanova's 15-2 run and 22 overall. Wayne Simien scored 15 points and J.R. Giddens and Sasha Kaun each had 11.

Kansas had the spirit sucked out of them by the up-tempo Wildcats. For a stretch, it seemed Kansas would turn the ball over and Villanova would race down the court and sink a 3. The Wildcats went 12-for-19 from 3-point range.

The real surprise was how easily Villanova controlled most of this game.

Villanova took a 14-11 lead on Sumpter's 3-pointer early in the first half and never let the Jayhawks get much momentum after that. Kansas had a minor rally, cutting the deficit to 38-34 shortly after Villanova's Kyle Lowry was ejected for a flagrant foul.



Mike Nardi, though, drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing right before halftime for a 41-34 lead and give the Wildcats some momentum for the second half. Did they ever take advantage.

The Wildcats shot 51 percent from the floor and were 15-for-16 from the free-throw line.