After a Weekend in Philly with some of my college buddies and catching Nova at Temple, here are a few observations and the current state of Villanova Basketball.
-After getting demolished by Creighton, Nova fans were interested in how the team would react. Would Jay Wright be able to have his players erase that game and move onto the next task? Or would the loss stay in the players heads and effect their play in the next series of games.
After all Creighton would have beaten ANY team in the country that night. That includes you Syracuse and Arizona.
The schedule was not favorable. After the Creighton loss, Nova had three straight road games. At Marquette. At Georgetown. At Temple. Marquette had not lost a Big East home game since 2011. Georgetown in D.C. is always a tough match up for the Cats and finally at Temple for the Big 5 crown.
Three games. Three Nova wins.
- Temple is having a down year but if they pulled off the upset yesterday, they would have shared the Big 5 championship with Villanova. We got into a discussion before the game, and we all agreed. If Temple would have won, their student section would storm the court. It would be their memorable moment of the season. Too bad for them it did not happen.
- Villanova needs an upgrade to its on campus facilities. The Liacouras Center is a nice place to watch a game. The Pavillion is almost 30 years old and the school will need to decide to revamp or rebuild.
-We met some other Alumni in a hotel lobby and when discussing the state of the team, the theme was constant. This team is very likeable. They play hard. They play defense. Archidiacono is a very good point guard. This may be a special season. The six of us are all excited for the way this season is turning out. We were students at Nova in the early 90's. We came after the 1985 Championship and 1988 Elite Eight team. We left right before the Kerry Kittles, Alvin Williams and Jason Lawson team took off. It's been a pretty good ride for Villanova Hoops since then.
-The Big East should get 4 teams into the NCAA tourament. Villanova, Creighton, Xavier and Providence. It will get five teams in if one of these four does not win the Big East tournament and earns the automatic bid. As I predicted in my Big East preview, I thought the conference would secure 4-5 teams for the tournament.
-Syracuse vs Duke was a great college basketball game last night. It was also right after the Nova/Temple game, and we watched it at a restaurant in Philly last night. The Syracuse win helps out Nova's seeding. One of our two losses is to one of the two undefeated team in the country.
- Next up for the Cats is Xavier at home Monday. Seton Hall comes to the Main Line on the 7th followed by DePaul on 10th. Then the Creighton rematch on the road on the 16th. Don't overlook the Xavier game. They are a good team.
-Could we win the Big East regular season? The Big East tournament? Either is possible. I don't think they will do both. Playing back to back to back games is a grind for teams that play hard on the defensive end like this one does. I think we are looking at a #2 seed probably in the East, with the regional final games at Madison Square Garden and that regions #1 seed is Syracuse.