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NCAA tournament: No. 10 St. Mary's upsets No. 2 Villanova, 75-68

March 20, 2010 | 12:29 pm

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Omar Samhan was an unstoppable Gael force and played the game of his career today, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds to lead 10th-seeded St. Mary's past second-seeded Villanova, 75-68, and improbably into the NCAA tournament's round of 16.

This victory will be celebrated from America to Australia. One of three Australians in the starting lineup, Mickey McConnell stopped and fired an arching 25-footer that banked high off the glass for a 68-65 lead with 1:15 left.

Samhan used a two-handed block to turn back Reggie Redding and McConnell made both ends of one-and-one free throws to make it 70-65.

The soldout crowd was well behind the Gaels (28-5).

The Wildcats (25-8) made an early exit a year after they played in the Final Four. They started 20-1 this season and collapsed at the end.

St. Mary's is off to Houston to play in the South Regional's Sweet 16.

-- Associated Press

Photo: St. Mary's center Omar Samhan looks to pass as Villanova center Mouphtaou Yarou applies defensive pressure on Saturday. Credit; Elsa / Getty Images

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