The Villanova Wildcats clinched their second consecutive Big East crown, and they're vying for a No. 1 seed in the tournament. Head coach Jay Wright is hoping his team can avoid another upset as they lost in the Round of 32 last season as a No. 2 seed.
Record – 27-2 (14-2 in Big East)
RPI – 5
Strength of Schedule – 43
G Ryan Arcidiacono (Jr.) – 10.4 ppg, 3.7 apg
G Dylan Ennis (Jr.) – 9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg
G Darrun Hilliard (Sr.) – 14.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg
F JayVaughn Pinkston (Sr.) – 9.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg
F Daniel Ochefu (Jr.) – 8.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg
Arcidiacono isn't Villanova's leading scorer, but he's definitely their most important player. As starting point guard, he plays the most minutes and takes care of the ball (2.3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio), running this team to perfection. When he's out of the lineup or on the bench, Villanova's offense sputters, but when he's in, they run like a well-oiled machine. He's also lethal from long range, shooting 38.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Villanova is extremely balanced - eight players average 14 or more minutes per game, and only one of them is a freshman (Phil Booth). That experience comes to play every night as the Wildcats have only have six games this year decided by 10 points or less - and they're 5-1 in those games. They come out with laser focus every single night, which will serve them well in the NCAA Tournament.
Villanova ranks 175th in the country in rebounds per game because of their lack of size. Jay Wright favors guard-heavy lineups, but Daniel Ochefu (6'11") is the only player that sees significant minutes that is taller than 6'7". Their offensive efficiency has made up for their lack of size, but they have had problems against big teams that can exploit them down low.
Guard play is the most important factor in the NCAA Tournament, and Villanova has one of the best and most experienced backcourts in the country. That should carry them relatively far in the tournament, but a team with athletic size could knock them out easily.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed