Every Thursday we’ll take a look back at that day in Villanova Basketball to remember the good times (and possibly not so good times). We’ll look at some numbers, opponents, highlight a game or two, and use this as a place for Nova Nation to relive some of their favorite games. We’ve pulled games from the last 60+ years, all the way back to 1950, so there should be something for everyone. Let’s get to it!
VUHoops #TBT for February 9th
Overall Record: 11-9, 1-3 vs ranked teams. This time of year a collegiate basketball team is trying to do one of two things. Either they’re working to make/improve their seed in the tournament, or they’re desperately trying to find something in a losing season to build on for next year. Thankfully Villanova is in the first of those two scenarios this year, but that hasn’t always been the case as their record on the 9th would suggest.
Most Frequent Opponent: UConn (1-1), Georgetown (0-2), Seton Hall (2-0), and St. John’s (1-1) all twice. There’s a couple great games in there, but the most thrilling (and ultimately disapointing) might be the two point loss to #1 St. John’s at home during the 1984-’85 Championship season. The Big East would end up with three of the four Final Four teams that season, and as we all know the Johnnies would get knocked out by Georgetown before Villanova won it’s first title. But about 2 months earlier, Villanova took the #1 team in the country to the brink, proving that they were still a force to be reckoned with.
Most Intriguing Opponent: 2002 vs #15 UCLA (W, 58-57). It was Jay Wright’s first season with Villanova, and both he and his new Wildcats were looking for revenge against Steve Lavin’s Bruins. The previous year, UCLA had crushed Nova in the first half of a home-and-home, and then went on to knock Wright’s Hofstra team out in the first round of the NCAA tournament. I covered this in more detail in our recent Wright’s Journey to 500 Wins series, but this was in fact Wright’s first win over a ranked team during his career. He remained cool and calm while the fans stormed the court at the Pavilion.
Highlighted Game: 2008 vs Seton Hall (W, 72-70). The Pirates always play Villanova hard. In fact, over the last three seasons they’re the only team to have beaten the ‘Cats each year. So any win over them, especially when it comes on a late 3 to take the lead by Dwayne Anderson, is a great win.
Villanova Games on Feb. 9th since 1950
|1985||Home||#1 St. John's (NY)||L||68||70|
|1965||Home||St. John's (NY)||W||52||43|
|1959||Away||Saint Francis (PA)||W||80||69|