They better, if they want to play in the NCAA Tournament. With their sub-par 12-18 record (5-13 in the Big East), the Villanova Wildcats can still qualify by winning the Big East Tournament. You bet… the odds are stacked against them. But, I watched a Villanova team last night that I had not seen all year! And the Villanova Wildcats are the ultimate tournament team.
Being the ultimate tournament team simply means they somehow come together at the end of the year and either perform above their expectations or finally perform at their expectations. Or, like the New York Giants (pro football), this past year, and the Green Bay Packers, the preceding year, they build a momentum and peak at the right time!
It’s been a dismal season so far as their record reflects! This is a team that has participated in the “Big Dance” seven years running. Yet, it appeared they would fall into the NIT Tournament and relative obscurity this year. However, last night they simply crushed Rutgers in the final game of the first round of the Big East Tournament! The final score was 70-49. Read More… on the Villanova Wildcats Blow Out of Rutgers on the NovaBlog.
But, it’s not the score that impressed me. I was impressed by the front court play of Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton. I’ve been waiting for this. Villanova has been competitive in recent history by playing a primarily small team with a three-guard offense. But the trend this year seemed to be moving to a more balance team with some big guys finally providing some muscle under the basket.
Yet, this was the very first time I saw this transition work this year. Yarou and Sutton dominated under the basket. This took a lot of pressure off Maalik Wayns and JayVaughn Pinkston and freed both stars to have great games without having to be the “turn to guys!”
Granted, there is long way to go for the Villanova Wildcats in this Big East Tournament. They face a very formidable opponent tonight in the South Florida Bulls. The Bulls crushed the Wildcats earlier this season in Florida 74-57. This is going to be a huge test for Villanova! But, if they build on what they accomplished last night and can win this game, they can build some very positive momentum toward the ultimate goal. And, that’s winning the Big East Tournament and moving on to the “Big Dance.” Do you remember what Connecticut did last year? It’s only five wins in five days!
I invite you to make your comments on this year’s Villanova Wildcats! In fact, I very much look forward to them!
Filed under: College Basketball
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