NEW YORK (AP) Josh Hart scored 19 points, including the game-winning basket with 9.6 seconds to play and No. 2 Villanova beat Seton Hall 55-53 on Friday night in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament.
Hart's three-point play on a rebound was the fifth lead change of the final 4 minutes and there were two ties.
There was almost a third as Seton Hall's Angel Delgado, the nation's leading rebounder, missed a shot from in close with 1 second left.
Delgado fell to the court and remained there face down as his teammates tried to console him.
The Wildcats (30-3), the four-time defending regular-season champion, will face the winner of the Creighton-Xavier for the title on Saturday.
Seton Hall (21-11) and Villanova met in last year's championship game and the Pirates prevailed 69-67. This game was just as close but a gritty, defensive battle that went right to the buzzer.
Villanova swept the season series, winning both games by an average of 26 points.
Khadeen Carrington's three-point play gave Seton Hall a 53-52 lead with 1:43 to play. Both teams came up empty on two possessions until Hart rebounded Kris Jenkins' 3-point attempt for the winning basket.
Hart had 10 rebounds and Jalen Brunson added 13 points for the defending national champions, who have won 11 of 12.
Desi Rodriguez led the Pirates, who had a five-game winning streak, with 14 points and Carrington and Myles Powell had 11 each. Delgado finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
Seton Hall: Delgado came into the game with a double-double in 24 of his past 25 games. He leads the nation in rebounding (13.2), offensive rebounding (4.2) and double-doubles (29). ... The Pirates had won six of their last seven games at Madison Square Garden, three over ranked teams.
Villanova: The Wildcats' previous low point total for a first half was 22 in a game against Virginia they came back to win 61-59. ... Villanova trailed at the half only three times this season.
Villanova faces Creighton-Xavier winner in championship game Saturday.