This month we're having an NCAA style tournament to determine Nova Nation's favorite Villanova Basketball player of all time. Be sure to check back each day as voting continues!
Well here we are. We've been whittling down Nova Nation's favorites for almost a month, and we're down to the final day of voting. After Howard Porter (54%) secured 3rd place, today we see arguably the two most popular players of all time face off: 1) Ryan Arcidiacono vs. 1) Kerry Kittles. I am so torn as these might be my two favorite players of all-time.
Why these two? It's not because they were both crazy good (no question Kittles leads in that category). It's not because they both left everything on the court (no one gave more effort than Arch). It's because these were the two players in my lifetime that brought Villanova Basketball out of some dark times and back to a nationally elite level. Obviously it takes an entire team, many of which are fan favorites, but these guys where the heart and soul of those teams. With that said, let's see how these two got here:
Arch's Path: Mike Nardi, Kris Jenkins, Kyle Lowry, Randy Foye, Howard Porter
Now that would have been a great four guard line-up! Arch went through most of the '06 Elite Eight Team, the new one shining moment poster boy, and the guy who just got himself voted as Nova Nation's favorite big man. That's saying a lot, but what else would you expect from a guy that has Villanova Blue and White running through his veins. He'll never be looked at as Villanova's best player, but he's arguably its greatest.
Kittles' Path: Brian Lynch, Michael Bradley, Jason Lawson, Alvin Williams, Ed Pinckney
Let's be honest, Kittles was always coming out of the Lappas Region. That's because he is arguably the best player Villanova has ever had. He did everything for a team that also featured the school's best all-time blocker/Top 10 rebounder and a guy who's 3rd best all-time in assists. Even with those great players, Kittles was credited with making everyone else better. That's how good he was. In fact, many die hard fans of those teams in the mid-90's would argue that if it weren't for the tripple overtime loss to Old Dominion, Villanova might have been celebrating its 3rd NCAA Championship this past April.
Ryan Arcidiacono: A member of the 2016 NCAA Championship team, three Big East Regular Season Championship teams ('14-'16), and the '15 Big East Tournament Championship team, Arcidiacono is 4th in assists, 14th in steals, and 20th in scoring all-time.
Arcidiacono's accolades were seemingly endless during his impressive Villanova career. He was the Co-Big East Player of the Year as a junior, and followed that up as the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player as a senior. He has played more games for Villanova than any other player, and his class has won more games than any other in Nova history. He's the only Wildcat with over 1,600 points and 500 assists in their career. And even with a history of big time last second shots, he'll still be remembered for the greatest pass in school history. To put it simply, Ryan Arcidiacono is Mr. Villanova.
Kerry Kittles: A member of the '94 NIT Championship team, the '95 Big East Tournament Championship team, and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Kittles is 1st in scoring, 1st in steals, 15th in assists, and 23rd in rebounds all-time.
The all-time leader in scoring and steals, Kittles is widely regarded as the best player of the Lappas era, and possibly the best Wildcat ever. Kittles was a two time All-American, '95 Big East Player of the Year, three time first team All-Big East, and two time Big 5 Most Outstanding Player. He's a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame and had his jersey retired at Villanova. After college, Kittles went on to play in the NBA for nine years.
And now Nova Nation, it's time for the final vote. Who is your favorite Villanova Basketball player of all-time?