Villanova Wildcats Win Big Against UCONN Huskies At The Showdown

Few college basketball teams have more prestigious pedigrees than UConn and Villanova. The longtime rivals used to face each other all the time in the original Big East, and on December 22 they met again in a non-conference battle at the sold-out Showdown at Madison Square Garden.

The two teams took to the court in front of a crowd of 17,000 at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” while thousands of fans watched at home on CBS Sports. As title sponsor of the event, sat courtside and had the opportunity to capture the action and share our photos with you. The first half was an even match, an exciting and competitive back-and-forth contest with the UConn guard trio of Christian Vitale, Jalen Adams and Alterique Gilbert giving the Wildcats a run for their money. At the half, the game was tied 30-30.

As the Villanova and UConn players went to the locker rooms to organize their strategy for the second half, partnered with HyperX — the ultimate leader in premier gaming products — to offer a halftime contest. Three contestants, donning t-shirts, took their spots at dedicated points across an arc at the 3-point line. Contestants had to make as many baskets as possible in 1:30. Shooting for the chance to win a coveted HyperX prize, contestants were free-throwing as fast as possible and had their rebounders chasing their ball all over the court. The first place winner won a HyperX gaming headset while the second and third place winners won a HyperX gaming keyboard and mouse.

The second half was a different story. Villanova methodically seized control of the game with a 19-0 run following a technical called on the Villanova bench. Their defense clamped down and senior Phil Booth and freshman recruit Jahvon Quinerly easily made up for the absence of their starting point guard Collin Gillespie with great all-around play, contributing to a 81-58 win for Villanova.

Usually Villanova has an undeniably great team at the beginning of the season. This year Villanova coach Jay Wright said, “We have a chance to be special by the end of the year.” This game demonstrated they’re on the right track. Despite the win for Villanova, the event was truly an unforgettable experience for all. Fan sections for both teams rarely kept quiet and remained standing until the very last buzzer of the game. Dancing to get on the Garden Vision big screen during the Dance Cam and taking photos at the GIF booth, fans were riled up ready to rep their team. The Showdown brought out alumni and their families, fans following their favorite NCAA basketball team and UConn and Villanova students taking advantage of their winter break supporting their team at Madison Square Garden.