Villanova tried to duplicate what Louisiana State had done in the first game today, but it wasn't to be. So, there will be a new NCAA basketball champion in 1986.
"I guess the Cinderella story has obviously ended," Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino said.
Georgia Tech ended it by holding off a late Villanova rally to stop the Wildcats, 66-61, in the second round of the NCAA Southeast regional in the LSU Assembly Center.
The victory sends the 27-6 Yellow Jackets home to the Atlanta Omni to face upstart LSU in the regional semifinals Thursday. LSU stunned 12th-ranked Memphis State with a come-from-behind 83-81 victory on Anthony Wilson's 12-foot bank shot at the buzzer.
Villanova (23-14) desperately tried to keep its title hopes alive today, but the Wildcats could not overcome a 52-34 deficit with 14:31 left. Villanova rallied with a 21-5 run over the ensuing 11 1/2 minutes.
"I don't think we should hold our heads anywhere but up," Massimino said. "I thought we had them rattled a little bit and we had the momentum going our way. But Georgia Tech guard Mark Price is such a good ballhandler and shooter."
Price matched Villanova center Doug West with a game-high 20 points. But Georgia Tech Coach Bobby Cremins credited 7-foot center John Salley with making the basket that thwarted Villanova's comeback.
The Wildcats trailed by 59-57 when Salley's 10-foot jumper gave Georgia Tech a four-point lead with 1:44 left. Villanova never got any closer. Cremins also praised forward Duane Ferrell for rebounding a Price miss and drawing a foul with 2:46 left. Ferrell made both free throws to put Georgia Tech ahead, 59-55.
Cremins said Georgia Tech, which led by 40-30 at the half, took some poor shots late in the game, and he said Price seemed to tire.
"We just got passive," said Price, who had 15 first-half points. "We were aggressive in the first half, but we got an 18-point lead and it seemed like we tried not to lose instead of trying to bury them."
In the LSU victory, Tigers senior forward Don Redden missed a shot with six seconds remaining, and when Redden and teammate Ricky Blanton could not control the loose ball, Wilson picked the ball off the floor and banked in the winning shot.
Wilson, a 6-foot-4 guard, said he thought the shot was in, but he was unsure whether he had shot before the buzzer. He shot the ball over 7-foot Memphis State center William Bedford. Bedford was one of three Memphis State players who played the second half with four fouls.
"We couldn't keep them from getting second shots," Memphis State Coach Dana Kirk said. "We got into serious foul problems, and that changed our style of play."
Blanton, a 6-7 sophomore, had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and 6-8 sophomore forward John Williams had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Redden scored a game-high 23 points.
Baskerville Holmes led Memphis State with 20 points, Bedford had 15 and Andre Turner and Dwight Boyd had 12 each. Memphis State, which enjoyed a size advantage, was outrebounded by 35-33.
"This was the best team we played all year long," LSU Coach Dale Brown said. "I told our team that they had every ingredient to be the national champion. If they win, they probably would be national champions."
Instead, Memphis State ended the season 28-6, and LSU, with its second straight dramatic victory, improved to 24-11. LSU defeated Purdue in double overtime Thursday, 94-87.
Holmes hit an 18-footer at the halftime buzzer to give Memphis State a 47-41 lead, and Memphis State gained a 60-48 advantage with 16:01 remaining.
But Brown credited LSU's changing defenses with allowing his team to come back. Williams, who missed nearly five minutes of the second half after picking up his fourth foul, tied the score at 77 on a bank shot with 4:41 remaining.
The teams then traded baskets, Bedford retying the score at 81 with 32 seconds remaining. LSU worked the ball around for Redden's short jumper. And when he missed, Wilson was there to hit only his third basket in 10 attempts.
"It's like that sometimes," said Wilson, who had scored a career-high 25 points against Purdue. "Only God knows if the shots are going to go in before the game."