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Villanova knocks off #1 Kansas in 56-55 victory

The Wildcats pulled off a big one in Philadelphia.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Trailing 55-51 to the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks in the final two minutes, the Villanova Wildcats were pressed. They had to pull a rabbit out of their hat to avoid losing their third game of the year to another quality opponent.

Much to their delight, and to Kansas’ chagrin, they would find that rabbit to pull out. Collin Gillespie dropped in a layup off a steal, and then Jermaine Samuels hit a clutch 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go. That 3-ball from Samuels propped ‘Nova up 56-55. And despite a scare late, Villanova was able to celebrate a win over top-ranked KU on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

The game was nothing if not pretty ugly. Villanova won the game despite shooting 34.9 percent from the field and 24.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. This despite the fact that they took 41 3-point attempts in the game, as the Wildcats were only able to convert on a whopping 10 of them. Kansas didn’t fare too much better. They shot 43.6 percent, but were 3-for-13 from 3 and 4-for-10 from the free throw line. Given that they had five times as many attempts from the line that Villanova had, it feels like that was a missed opportunity for KU. Especially given the score.

Villanova has certainly played better games, but they will no doubt take this win and run with it as they barrel closer towards conference play.