The Wildcats of Villanova may not have played the Robert Morris Colonials this year, but they are certainly no strangers to each other. Even though they play in radically different conferences, many of the players on Villanova and Robert Morris played together on AAU teams when they were younger. Make no mistake--they remember each other, including style of play and tendencies. The familiarity stretches not only between players, as RMU coach Mike Rice (former St. Joseph's assistant) used to live down the street from Jay Wright. Speaking of St. Joe's, there is a Martelli affiliated with the Colonials. Jimmy Martelli, St. Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli's son, is an assistant to Rice on the Robert Morris staff.
Nonetheless, all the connections between the two squads should not make a huge difference. Villanova is a better team and should win the game, with a strong emphasis on "should." If the Cats play up to their capability, they will win the game, but if their play of late continues, an upset is not unthinkable. The anticipation of the NCAA Tournament continues to grow, as we are a little over 36 hours away from tip-off.
Below are some articles dealing with the familiarity the two teams share with each other:
-Villanova freshman Wayns ready for tourney
-With Villanova-Robert Morris, it's a matchup of old friends in first round
-Another Martelli is coaching in Big Dance
-Wildcats remember '09 NCAA lesson
-Villanova's Wright, Robert Morris' Rice are neighbors from different worlds