Dwayne Anderson and Dante Cunningham each scored 25 points, and Villanova rallied back from a 14-point hole to beat upset-minded American 80-67 in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday night.
The third-seeded Wildcats (27-7) lost their home-court advantage and nearly lost the game, needing a late 19-2 run in the East Regional to fend off the Patriot League champions.
The 14th-seeded Eagles (24-8) sizzled from 3-point range early and pushed Villanova to the brink of a monumental upset. They just didn't have enough left in their tired legs down the stretch, something the Wildcats exploited in their game-changing spurt.
The loss ended the Eagles' 13-game winning streak, the second-longest in the country.
The Wildcats play the UCLA-Virginia Commonwealth winner on Saturday.