This month we’re having an NCAA style tournament to determine your favorite Villanova Basketball Class of the last 70 years. Be sure to check back every day to cast your votes and see who advances.
There were no upsets yesterday as all of the higher seeds advanced from the Severance Region and will face off in the Sweet Sixteen. The classes moving on include ‘72 (66.9%), ‘85 (97.9%), ‘07 (68.3%), ‘19 (99.3%).
The top seeds in the Wright Region will be hoping for the same results as they look to move on in today’s voting. Again, the top two seeds that make up the core of the 2016 National Championship team look to be on course for an Elite 8 showdown, but first they need a win today. Oh, and they might have to deal with Kyle Lowry and Scottie Reynolds along the way. Good luck voting those match-ups!
#1 Class of ‘17 vs #9 Class of ‘99
1 Seed) Class of 2017: Denny Grace, Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Darryl Reynolds
True Seed: 2 | Record: 129-17 | NCAA Wins: 9 | Coach: Wright
The Class of 2017 has so many accolades that it will be difficult to list them all here. They were the 2016 National Champions and they made four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, coming in as the #1 overall seed their senior season. They won four consecutive outright Big East Regular Season Championships, a first for the school and the conference. They won two Big East tournaments, with Josh Hart being named the tournament Most Outstanding Player in each of those years. They went undefeated in four years of Big 5 play, another first for the school and the Big 5. The were on the first Villanova team to ever be ranked #1 in the AP Poll, and they were ranked in the Top 3 of the poll in every season they played at Villanova. They never finished a season ranked in the AP Poll any lower than 6th.
They also achieved a lot individually. In addition to the BET MOPs, Josh Hart was the 2017 Big East Player of the Year and a unanimous first team All-American. He also won the 2017 Julius Erving award as the nation’s best small forward. For Villanova, Hart ranks 10th in points, 14th in rebounds, 16th in steals, and 27th in assists All-Time. His teammate, Kris Jenkins, will forever be know for hitting the biggest shot in Villanova history to win the 2016 National Championship on a buzzer beater three. Jenkins ranks 36th in scoring, 40th in assists, and tied for 40th in steals All-Time for the Wildcats. The big man of the class, Darryl Reynolds, closed out his career tied for 18th All-Time in blocks for Villanova.
9 Seed) Class of 1999: Howard Brown, John Celestand, Chris Lee, Rafal Bigus
True Seed: 34 | Record: 83-45 | NCAA Wins: 2 | Coach: Lappas
The class of 1999 went to three NCAA tournaments, but never made it out of the first weekend. They spent their entire first two seasons ranked in the AP Poll, cracking the Top 5 both years. Also in 1997, they reached the Big East Tournament finals. The class produced three stars who combined to average over 34 points per game their senior season. John Celestand ranks 11th in assists, 17th in steals, and 45th in scoring All-Time for Villanova. Fellow guard Howard Brown is 25th in steals, tied for 32nd in assists, and tied for 56th in scoring All-Time for the Wildcats. Big man Rafal Bigus is 15th in blocks All-Time for Nova.
#4 Class of ‘08 vs #5 Class of ‘73
4 Seed) Class of 2008: Kyle Lowry
True Seed: 15 | Record: 52-13 | NCAA Wins: 5 | Coach: Wright
This is the only one man class in the tournament, but it’s the most successful NBA player of the Wright era. In just two seasons, Lowry made the Sweet 16 and then the Elite 8 before leaving early for the pros. His final year at Nova, his team won a share of the Big East Regular Season Championship and spent most of the year ranked in the Top 5 of the AP Poll. That year he also led the Big East in steals while averaging over 11 points per game. In just two seasons, Lowry recorded over 100 career steals and currently ranks 36th All-Time.
5 Seed) Class of 1973: Charles Coleman, John Gaspar, Bill Harris, Ed Hastings, Tom Ingelsby, Gary Jentz
True Seed: 18 | Record: 58-29 | NCAA Wins: 5 | Coach: Kraft
The class of ‘73 made two trips to the NCAA tournament, including a run to the finals where they lost to UCLA in 1971. They would also be the last class to play all three seasons under head coach Jack Kraft. The star of the class, Tom Ingelsby, ranks 18h in scoring and 26th in assists All-Time for Villanova. His fellow guard, Ed Hastings, ranks 39th on the All-Time assists list.
#3 Class of ‘10 vs #6 Class of ‘89
3 Seed) Class of 2010: Jason Colenda, Casiem Drummond, Reggie Redding, Scottie Reynolds
True Seed: 10 | Record: 99-40 | NCAA Wins: 7 | Coach: Wright
The class of 2010 made four consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament, reaching the Sweet 16 as sophomores and the Final Four as juniors. They were ranked in the AP Poll for each of their last three years, including spending their entire senior season in the Top 10.
The star of the class, Scottie Reynolds, was the 2007 Big East Rookie of the Year. In 2009, he hit a late runner in the lane to send Villanova to the Final Four for the first time since they won it all in ‘85. His senior season, he was a unanimous first team All-American and the Big 5’s Most Outstanding Player. Reynolds finished his career as the school’s 2nd leading scorer All-Time, and also ranks 3rd in steals and 8th in assists. His teammate, Reggie Redding, ranks 22nd in steals and 28th in assists All-Time for the Wildcats.
6 Seed) Class of 1989: Gary Massey, Doug West, Kenny Wilson
True Seed: 23 | Record: 80-59 | NCAA Wins: 4 | Coach: Massimino
The class of 1989 made two trips to the NCAA tournament, including an Elite 8 run their junior season. They also made two trips to the NIT tournament which also resulted in an Elite 8 run, this time as seniors. In those final two years, the team made the AP Poll’s Top 20 for back-to-back seasons.
The class of ‘89 produced three Wildcat greats. Doug West is the only player in Wildcat history to record 50+ blocks (ranked 24th), 100+ steals (24th), 250+ assists (29th), 600+ rebounds (32nd), and 2,000+ points (5th) in their career. Kenny Wilson is Villanova’s All-Time leader in career assists with 627, and also ranks 20th in steals and 35th in scoring for his career. And Gary Massey, a lock down defender who made the starting lineup as a senior, ranks 4th All-Time in career steals for the Wildcats with 204.
#2 Class of ‘16 vs #10 Class of ‘50
2 Seed) Class of 2016: Ryan Arcidiacono, Mislav Brzoja, Dylan Ennis, Patrick Farrell, Henry Lowe, Daniel Ochefu, Kevin Rafferty
True Seed: 7 | Record: 117-27 | NCAA Wins: 8 | Coach: Wright
The class of 2016 went to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, winning the national championship their senior season. They were ranked in the Top 3 of the AP Poll in each of their last three seasons, including reaching the #1 rank for the first time in school history during their senior season. They won the 2015 Big East Tournament, and won three consecutive Big East Regular Season Championships.
The star of the class, Ryan Arcidiacono, was the 2015 Co-Big East Player of the Year and the 2016 Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He ranks 4th in assists, 14th in steals, and 21st in scoring All-Time for Villanova. His teammate, Daniel Ochefu, was the 2014 Co-Big East Most Improved Player, and currently ranks 5th in blocks, 7th in rebounds, 35th in steals, and tied for 61st in scoring All-Time for the Wildcats.
10 Seed) Class of 1950: Paul Arizin, William Barry, Frank Buckley, Perry Del Purgatorio, Joseph Hannan, Brooks Ricca, Thomas Sabol, Leo Wolf
True Seed: 39 | Record: 63-17 | NCAA Wins: 0 | Coach: Severance
The class of 1950 went to the ‘49 NCAA Tournament, but lost in the Sweet 16, which was the first round at the time. The team finished their last two seasons ranked in the AP Poll’s Top 15. The class star, Paul Arizin, averaged 20 points per game for his career. In his senior season, Arizin was a consensus first team All-American and won the Helms Foundation and Sporting News Player of the Year awards. Arizin still ranks 16th in scoring All-Time for Villanova.
Thanks for your vote! Voting for each round will close at midnight EST. Be sure to check back next time for the Massimino Region’s Second Round. We’ll also announce the winners from today’s vote. Data for the tournament was researched at villanova.com and sports-reference.com.